It’s the start of a new chapter and the end of an old one at Bodicote Park.
Banbury Bulls kick-off the new season in a new division on Saturday and with a new captain at the helm.
I can’t wait to get going but I’ll have to bite my tongue when I want to pipe upEd Phillips
Last season’s Midland Two West South champions have switched back to the South West Division and travel to Witney for Saturday’s opener.
But Ed Phillips, who has captained the side for the last six seasons, is stepping down with Ian Isham taking over.
Phillips said: “I took over as captain three games into the 2010-11 season after Sean Bannister broke his leg. I thought I was ready for captaincy but unfortunately we were relegated that season!
“My aim then was to leave the side and club in a better place when I finished as captain but it took a little longer than it should have done.
“But together with James Kerr we built slowly, mainly looking to recruit former Banbury players who we thought would be in it for the long haul with us, and we finally achieved what we set out to do.”
Bulls completed the double last season as Phillips finally saw his ambition fulfilled. And, mission accomplished, he is ready to hand over to Isham.
He added: “Last season’s success in doing the league and cup double for the first time at Banbury was even sweeter than I could imagined, highlighted by the fact three years ago we missed out on winning the league by one point, lost in the promotion play-off to Crew & Nantwich, then lost again in the Oxon Knockout Cup final.
“The club is steaming forward now with the new clubhouse and the purchase of the new ground.
“I would have loved to continue as captain at level six in South West One but I know that Ian Isham is going to do a great job in a lot more measured style than myself and he is the perfect person for the job.
“The introduction of Matt Goode to James Kerr’s coaching staff is an obvious plus and I’m very confident that the success will keep on coming in the years to come.
“I can’t wait to get going this year but I’ll have to bite my tongue when I want to pipe up from now on!”