THEY'RE batting for success on the field but Dunfermline and Carnegie Cricket Club's captain believes encouraging greater participation is of equal importance.

Bruce Callan, who has taken on the skipper's role at McKane Park this season, says that gaining a reputation for being a club that "allow you to play and enjoy" the sport would provide as much satisfaction as improving their performance in the East of Scotland Cricket Association's Division Four.

Callan told Press Sport: "We finished seventh last season and, as incoming captain, I want to make a point of trying to improve on that.

"I have three aspirations, and number one is to make sure that everyone enjoys themselves. Number two is can we improve our position from last year, and number three is encouraging young talent. We're very fortunate to have a lot of guys who are doing a lot of work developing the young guys.

"There are three, four or five players, who are all under-17, who are genuine contenders to play for the first team this year. They are more than capable of boosting us and will only get better with experience.

"Everyone understands the benefit of a good youth policy. We're hoping that it has a snowball effect – the more people that play and enjoy cricket, then who knows? Maybe in the future we'll have a third team and girls involved.

"We want to make a name for ourselves as a club who will allow you to play and enjoy it. First and foremost, we want people to enjoy it."

This year, Dunfermline and Carnegie will field two Saturday teams – the second of which will compete in Division Seven – as well as a Sunday League development side at senior level.

The first team have been bolstered by the return of Vasu Reddy, who has great experience of playing top-level cricket at both Dunfermline and Glenrothes, and the arrivals of South African player, Justin Taylor, and the experienced Peter Millmore, who has moved to the area from the Isle of Wight.

Callan added: "Our ethos is that we want to be challenging. Nobody expects to win every game but if you go in with a plan, you have a chance.

"To recruit players of that calibre will provide important input. A strong start is very important but is not the be-all and end-all."