DARYN Smit wants to hit the ground running next summer in his new role as Ramsbottom captain, admitting more silverware is the aim for this season’s Lancashire League T20 champions.

Smit, also taking on professional duties, will take over from departing wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Parton, who has moved to Australia due to work commitments.

The experienced South African returns to the club he skippered to the league title in 2016, although he has since been back on numerous occasions as sub pro.

Ramsbottom finished this season fourth in the Division One table behind champions Burnley, Walsden and Lowerhouse.

During the last couple of seasons, Parton has often spoken of a developing side at Acre Bottom.

And while Smit accepts that remains the case, he is not ruling out trophies, including a push to win the league.

He said: “The easy answer would be to say, ‘No, we’re rebuilding with a new pro and captain’. But, realistically, I think we’re good enough to challenge for the league.

“If we finish next season without a trophy of any kind, I would be disappointed.”

Smit, aged 35, will continue in his role captaining and coaching Derbyshire’s second-team next season, which frees him up more at weekends to play league cricket.

“Coming back here was a no brainer for both parties,” he explained.

“This season I’ve done a lot of sub pro’ing, which is great. But if I’m going to be free pretty much every weekend, it makes sense to sign for a club, build something and play for silverware.

“I approached Ramsbottom, who were thinking of approaching me. Once we were both on the same page, it was very easy.

“I would never have pushed for the captaincy.

“I think Tom has done some great work over the last few seasons, and I would have been more than happy to play under him. But with him going to Australia, it was offered to me. And having finished off with the captaincy in 2016 when we won the league, it felt right.

“Having sub pro’d and been around, part of the WhatsApp group and stuff, I still see it very much as my club.

“I think we’ve recruited well in the last three years, and our balance of youth and experience is brilliant.”

Parton, who left for 18 months in Sydney on Monday, paid tribute to Smit.

“If I was still going to be around next year, I have so much time for Daryn that I would have suggested he captains anyway,” he revealed.

“He’s captained the Dolphins in South Africa and is a better captain than me. It would have benefited the team more.”

Smit does not plan to keep wicket for Ramsbottom next season to allow him to bowl and will be looking to recruit a new gloveman given second-team incumbent Ben Parkinson is not available for a full summer as he also plays semi-pro football.

Smit will, however, be behind the stumps this Saturday when Derbyshire head to Edgbaston for their maiden Vitality Blast Finals Day appearance, a competition in which he continues to play first-team county cricket.

They face Lancashire’s quarter-final conquerers Essex in the afternoon semi-final and would face either Nottinghamshire or Worcestershire in the final should they win.