STUART Wedge believes Himley now have the strength in depth to sustain a Birmingham Premier League title challenge.

The Stourbridge Road side were surprise contenders for the crown last season in Wedge’s first year as skipper but ran out of steam in the closing weeks.

But the off-season has seen them add experience in the shape of former Old Hill duo Nathan Round and Ashfak ‘Sharkey’ Hussain.

Wedge said: “Last year it was obvious to anyone we were in a transitional phase. We had a number of young players in the side.

“It’s fair to say we didn’t expect to end up in the position we did. We hit a great run of form and suddenly we were in the title race but we faded in the end.

“Over the winter we were keen to bring some experienced players and in the likes of Nathan and Sharkey, I feel we have done that.

“It’s been quite a quiet time really as the deals were done quickly. We knew what we needed and went out and got it. We’ve added depth to the squad.”

Round, who tasted Premier League glory at Walsall, leaves Old Hill after three years as skipper of the Division One outfit.

Another man making the jump from Haden Hill Park is batter Dan Wood, with Tom Cadmore also making the step up from Evesham.

Himley visit Barnt Green in the Graham Williamson Trophy on Saturday.

Wedge added: “Barnt Green were the best team last year and deserved to win the league. I expect they will be strong again. It’s going to be a early test for us.”