Regulars get their hands on the trophy before Pep
The goalscoring midfielder left to try his luck in National League South with Oxford City last summer, having scored 48 goals in 156 games over three seasons at The Meadow.
Now re-signed, Pearce is in line to make his bow at home Hitchin Town on Saturday and has set his sights on the Southern Premier play-offs.
“It does feel like I’ve got unfinished business here, and I want to try to get Chesham into the play-offs,” said Pearce. “It will be quite tough, but hopefully I can score to help out and give us the best possible chance.
Ex-Gerrards Cross seamer Tom Hampton, who plays for High Wycombe, succeeds Michael Payne, who led the county for three seasons.
The 27-year-old Hampton, who fielded for England in a Lord’s Test against India in 2011 while with the MCC Young Cricketers, was formally ratified at the county’s annual meeting on Monday.
“I had no hesitation in coming back as I really enjoyed my football here. I think I did well enough at Oxford but they have had financial problems, I was on a long contract and they had to let me go.
“[Chesham manager] Jon Meakes got in touch when he heard I had left and I didn’t need much persuading. It was a hard decision to leave in the first place, but it was a chance to step up a level and I left on good terms.”
Pearce, who was part of Chesham’s memorable FA Cup runs in 2015/16 and 2016/17, returns to a very different squad, with Benji Crilley the only player left from last season.
The prodigal son does, however, know a few of the class of 2017/18.
“I played alongside Lewis Toomey, Dave Hutton and Keiran Murphy at Hemel Hempstead, so there’s a few familiar faces already, despite the
The new captain made his Bucks debut in 2014, returning figures of 6-48 in one game, and his performances for the county led to his being offered a two-year contract by Gloucestershire, for whom he played a handful of games.
Having been released by the County Championship side Hampton is now free to play a full season for Bucks, where he could feature alongside his brother Dan, who has represented the county since 2015. high turnover of players since I left,” said Pearce.
“They have done very well, despite it being a whole new squad – I’ve not been surprised as I know they are good players.
“Perhaps not having a cup run has helped, as it did have an effect on us over those two years, and we perhaps didn’t do as well as we should have in the league as a result. It’s time to put that right now.”
Chesham, whose game last weekend was called off, go into the Hitchin fixture level on points with Slough Town – who occupy the final play-off place – but having played six games more than the Rebels.
Payne will also continue to play for Bucks this season as the county bid to end a run of two seasons without a win in the Unicorns Counties Championship.
County president Stuart York was elected a life member at the same meeting. York played for Bucks in the 1970s and was chairman from 1997 to 2010.
Bucks kick off their Unicorn Championship Eastern Division campaign with a three-day game against Bed- fordshire at Tring Park, starting on June 24.
First they have a Knockout Trophy game against Cambridgeshire at High Wycombe on April 29 and Twenty20 Cup games against Berkshire at Amersham (May 7), Oxfordshire at Banbury (May 27), Herefordshire at High Wycombe (June 3) and Shropshire at Whitchurch (June 17). Bucks have friendlies at High Wycombe on April 15, and against Oxfordshire at Aston Rowant on April 22.