SIMON Woodruff's return to Chapel Gate to skipper Bournemouth in the ECB Southern Premier League this coming cricket season has been boosted by the arrival of a talented South African all-rounder.

Aidan Meyer, a 23-year old from the Eastern Province, has joined the Lions having played a lead role in Swaley's Derbyshire League promotion drive last season.

A right-hand bat and seam bowler from the Port Elizabeth side Grey's Old Boys, Meyer made over 760 runs, including two late season unbeaten hundreds, to help Swaley finish as Division 1 runners-up.

He was equally effective with the ball, taking 39 wickets as Long Eaton-based Swaley gained promotion into the county's ECB Premier League.

Rated as a fine prospect by Hampshire's EP-based coach Adi Birrell, Meyer will make his Lions debut in Saturday's pre-season friendly against the Hampshire Academy at Chapel Gate.

Woodruff has returned to Bournemouth after spending the 2023 season with St Cross Symondians, where things did not work out as he might have hoped.

He will lead a young Lions side in which Meyer will be joined by two other domiciled South Africans, pace bowler Cole Rushworth and teenage batter James van Gool.

Bournemouth's opening Premier League match is against promoted Basingstoke & North Hants on May 4.