Glenrothes Cricket Club have chosen to drop down a division in a bid to rebuild the club and grow its links with the community.
The first XI will play in the Strathmore and Perthshire Cricket Union (SPCU) Division One this season after deciding to give up their place in the East of Scotland Cricket Association (ESCA) Championship following relegation from the Premier League last year.
The second XI will be in ESCA Division 6, while the Sunday XI in the SPCU R&D league.
Last season proved tough with Glenrothes’ first XI failing to register a single victory, which prompted the move to look at dropping down a level or two at the club’s AGM last October.
The decision was taken and those within Glenrothes believe it has given it a chance to start a fresh.
The club’s finance director Greig Hopcroft told the Gazette: “We have always been part of ESCA. We had looked at dropping down a few leagues due to player pool and recruitment, but it was a bit further than we had hoped.
“We have decided to join SPCU, which is exactly what Falkland did after they were relegated a few seasons back.
“We will start in division 1. It is a rebuilding job and we’re trying to compete at the right level.
“We finished fourth in the Premier League two seasons ago but last year there were too many defeats in close games and the season eventually tailed off.
“Effectively, we are dropping down a division from where we would have been.
“It was a difficult decision but we feel it is in the club’s best interests.
“We have had so many highs in the last few years, it was a kick in the teeth when we got relegated and you are left with a shell of a side.
“A lot of things went against us last season but we have to look on the positives.”
Despite the blow of relegation and playing at a level below where they would have been, there is a renewed sense of optimism at the club.
New facilities will be in place come the start of the new season in April as the Gilvenbank Community Sports Hub development nears a conclusion, whilst the club’s Gladiators youth programme continues to go from strength to strength, with 50 juniors regularly in attendance.
The club’s recruitment drive is already underway with all players being invited to join their indoor pre-season training at Cluny Activities tonight (Wednesday) from 6-8pm and runs fortnightly.
Hopcroft added: “Our indoor training starts and we’re looking for new players.”