STAFFORDSHIRE open their Minor Counties Eastern Division programme against Lincolnshire at Sleaford on Sunday.
Former Leek player David Cartledge is in his second season in charge of the county side.
Staffordshire's build up on the one-day scene has hardly been inspiring, with just one win to show in four Unicorns Knockout Trophy 50-over games.
However, the Minor Counties competition is a different ball game and Staffordshire have a good chance to redeem themselves.
Staffordshire skipper Paul Goodwin, the Knypersley wicketkeeper/batsman has a wealth of promising emerging young talent to call upon – including Leek opening batsman and fellow wicketkeeper, Alex Mellor, who spent the winter playing club cricket in Australia.
Mellor may only have scored 19 runs on his county one-day debut against Berkshire, but his 83-run stand with Peter Wilshaw provided a platform for what proved to be a match-winning innings for the Staffordshire team.
Mellor, 22, will be made to feel at home by his Leek skipper, the experienced seamer Greg Willott, who is expected to make his usual impact for his county with the ball.
Staffordshire finished fifth in the table under Cartledge's first season in charge last year.
After their encounter with Lincolnshire, Staffordshire go on to face Hertfordshire, Northumberland, Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire.
Staffordshire last won the championship back in 1998, though they went agonisingly close in 2001, when they just fell short in a final match decider away to Cambridgeshire.