Cameron Leeder, the man who led RH Corstorphine cricket club to promotion last year, will play his last game for the team on Saturday as the CSL Eastern Premiership cricket campaign gets underway.
Leeder, who is Australian, joined the East Barnton Avenue club in 2013 and last summer was at the helm as they pipped Glenrothes to the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship title.
However, he will be available for just one game in the top flight – away to Stoneywood-Dyce this weekend – before returning home to Australia with his partner. The news is a blow to the promoted club, but they have known about the departure for some time and have planned accordingly.
Former Scotland head coach Pete Steindl has taken over the captaincy duties from Leeder while a professional and an overseas amateur – Jake Marnie and Daniel Payne – have arrived from Australia. The duo have fitted in well at the club and will bat in the top six while Sam Stibbs is amongst a number of Edinburgh University students to joining the club.
This term in the top flight will also give RH Corstorphine’s clutch of exciting young players, led by bowlers Kevin Meier and Joe Kinghorn-Gray, the chance to show what they can do at a higher level.
Of the four other Capital clubs in the division, Mazars Grange finished highest – third – in 2014, and they will have a new captain this summer.
Andrew Brock, who had previously been vice-captain, takes over the role from the experienced Neil McCallum with the latter continuing as a player.
Two Grange stalwarts, Gregor Maiden and Simon Smith, have retired though which will give opportunities to young players to come into the side.
New coach John Blain will bolster the bowling department this summer while, with Smith not involved, the likes of Matthew Angelini, Simon Whait and Caiden Lang will compete for the wicketkeeper gloves.
Brock, 24, said: “We have had a good pre-season and with John [Blain] at the helm structuring coaching we feel we are in a good place.
“The league will be tight as always, but we will be looking to challenge for the title.”
Heriot’s, who finished fourth last time out, also have a new man skippering the side.
Keith Morton, who had a stint at the Goldenacre club previously, returns from Stuart&Stuart Penicuik to take up that role while Pete Ross, the former Scotland age-grade player, has been installed as club coach. Cam Farrell has returned to Australia, but the experienced Kevin McLaren is back fit and Charlie MacLeod and his brother Hamish will be involved this summer.
Carlton have all-rounder Mike Raikes, a teacher at Merchiston Castle School, coming into their first XI squad. Australian teenager Ryan McCloy, 18, has also arrived at Grange Loan to be registered as the overseas amateur.
Young bowler Ally Sadler is set to be involved more with the Watsonians first team this term having had a good pre-season with skipper Ewan Chalmers also keen to give other teenagers a chance in the coming months.
Batsman Mike Carson is also set to be available more this year after a promising 2014.
• How local Premiership clubs shape up
Captain: Gordon Drummond
Arrivals: Ryan McCloy, Mike Raikes, Fin Clarkson
First match: Arbroath (A, Saturday)
Home ground: Grange Loan
Captain: Keith Morton
Arrivals: Keith Morton, Hamish MacLeod
First match: Autoecosse Forfarshire (H, Saturday)
Home ground: Goldenacre
Captain: Andrew Brock
Arrivals: John Blain, Simon Whait, Caiden Lang
First match: Watsonians (H, Saturday)
Home ground: Portgower Place
Captain: Pete Steindl
Arrivals: Jake Marnie, Daniel Payne, Sam Stibbs
First match: Stoneywood-Dyce (A, Saturday)
Home ground: East Barnton Avenue
Captain: Ewan Chalmers
Arrivals: Chris Wilsdon
First match: Mazars Grange (A, Saturday)
Home ground: Myreside