THE new West of England Premier League (WEPL) season starts again on Saturday, with several of our sides going for glory.

Bridgwater are the highest placed, all set for another season in WEPL Premier 1, and concluded a promising pre-season with victory over Taunton Deane last Saturday.

South African Jason Oakes is on board as the overseas player, while Somerset’s Max Waller, George Bartlett and the talented Smeed twins are all signed on with the club.

Former skipper Steve Davis’ intention to play again is welcome and his ability as a three dimensional cricketer will give the selection committee options, with Andy Roberts' retirement due to family commitments the only absentee from last year’s squad.

They begin at Bristol tomorrow, while the 2nds are again in WEPL Somerset and start at home to Chard tomorrow (both 12.30pm start).

On Sunday, there is a bumper T20 day at the Parks, where Bridgwater host North Petherton (10.30am) and Wellington (4.30pm); there will be three games throughout the day, coloured kit, music and a barbecue.

In Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset, Shapwick & Polden are aiming for a top five finish and a stronger showing in T20 competitions.

After a winter of off-field work including new artificial nets and a patio area under construction, Shapwick begin their campaign at Bishopston tomorrow (12.30pm).

They have lost Fionn Hand, who has returned to Ireland to push for a place in their national squad after leaving school.

But Sean Stringer will be “like a new signing”, according to batsman Steve Tinnion, after playing just one match last season.

The consistent Tinnion and Sam Edmunds will be relied upon for runs, while Jacques Lukins made big runs for the seconds last season and is knocking on the door.

Stringer will lead the seam attack, while Ben Rudge will be the go-to spinner; Callum Harvey, 15, is an exciting young spinner who could be in first team contention as the summer goes on.

Tinnion added: “We feel we have massively under achieved in the National Village KO Cup, which we hope to put right this year starting away at North Perrott in May.”

Wembdon go into their WEPL Somerset season boosted by a new head coach, former Somerset player Mark Davis, and South African off-spinner Nkululeko Serame.

Davis now delivers a structured training evening for those selected in a first XI squad and will be attending a number of Saturday fixtures throughout the season.

Serame is currently representing Cape Cobras, who are top of the Ram Slam, and on Sunday played alongside Vernon Philander and JP Duminy in a win over the Dolphins.

Other additions include Matt Hubbard, who returns from a season at Bridgwater, Ben Winter, Mike Barrow, Jack Smith and younger players such as Lewis Baker.

Wembdon have also been blessed with a handful of senior players returning to the game after time away, including Paul Rooke, Tim Hellings, Olly Townsend, Graham Booker to name just a few.

Jon Brockwell stays on as first XI captain and the club are aiming for a top three finish.

Wembdon begin their season tomorrow (12.30pm) against North Petherton, who are looking ahead to a tough campaign in the hope that some of their young players can step up.

The 1st XI will be captained by Harry Bowditch, taking over from Paul Short.

Pethy will see less of Lloyd Irish, the Taunton Town goalkeeper, due to his football commitments – although he should still play in the T20 competitions.

Ben Meek, a 20-year-old medium-fast bowler, is on board, and Pethy have also snapped up Ali Zaryab Asif, a top order batsman and off-spinner who was Pakistan’s leading run scorer at last year’s Under-19 World Cup.

Skipper Bowditch also believes Farran Gregory, a 15-year-old left-arm seamer, is one to watch.

Having finished eighth last season, Bowditch is cautious going into this campaign, saying: “We will take each game as it comes; there are no expectations as we are quite a young team.

“I think it would be a success to stay in the division and maybe go on a cup run, but you never know.”

All four clubs run thriving youth sections - North Petherton are entering the under-19 T20 competition for the first time this year.