SETTLE’S captain Will Davidson is relishing the opportunity to return to competitive cricket next weekend, after a prolonged period away due to Covid-19.

The Yorkshire based side returned to training on April 1, with 1XI and 2XI both attending, after the government permitted them to do so.

Both sides faced off in friendly matches over the weekend, against Morecambe and Bolton Abbey respectively, however Settle's stunning Marshfield Ground, will host competitive cricket once again this Saturday.

2XI will begin their campaign with a home fixture against Burnley Belvedere in the Ribblesdale Cricket League Division 1, while 1XI will have to wait to kick their season off against Read, next Saturday, in the Ribblesdale Cricket Senior League.

Ahead of his sides return, Senior's captain Davidson is feeling the buzz around the squad.

"It's great to be back training and playing games. There's a real buzz around the place and I've never seen people as keen as they are this season.

"We are still a young team, but we are now a team that has a lot of first team experience.

" Any young players that do come in, they are automatically surrounded by players with a lot of experience, so it's a very fortunate and exciting position we are in."

Reflecting on last season's all amateur league format, Davidson said: “It was an interesting one last season. It was the first full season where it was just amateur cricket.

"We stood up though and showed the league that collectively we are a good side and that we're not just relying on a pro.

"A few lads really stepped up with the bat and took a bit of ownership. If we can take that into this season with Ashen as our pro, then we should only go from strength to strength."

With Sri Lankan pro and all-rounder Ashen Silva returning to the fray, Settle will only be boosted by the presence of a man who Davidson believes is "already a fantastic pro."

Davidson added: "Collectively, as a club we've spoken about this. We don't believe we've ever been this healthy, in terms of the experience we have, the talent we have and the desire we have to win.

"It's an eye opener to see how far we've come. The friendly against Morecambe was extremely tough in choosing our best 11. It was a head scratcher.

"We have so much competition for places and we hadn't even factored in our pro or new oversees player.

"We are going through a historic year in relation to our club and we want to win absolutely everything, including the 20-20, the League Cup and the league, so it's a big year for us.

Covid-19 restrictions still have a hold on sports, but Davidson added: "The covid restrictions don't bother me. We needed sport back. People were struggling both physically and mentally and it's just great for everyone that it's back.

"It's the feeling we missed."