HAMPSHIRE director of cricket Giles White insisted the club is "raring to go" as they look to end their 51-year wait for a County Championship title.

The Utilita Bowl side begin their campaign with a trip to Durham on Friday - looking to improve on last year's third-place finish.

Hampshire's preparations have been hit slightly by recent poor weather but they have been able to take part in pre-season matches against Middlesex, Worcestershire, and Sussex.

Speaking to the Daily Echo at Hampshire's media day, the 52 year old was hopeful the players can get off to a positive start in their opening game.

"We got some overs in the bowlers, so the workloads are up which means they’re able to sustain the levels they expect of themselves," he explained.

"With the batters, it’s more around getting confidence and form ahead of what is a long season. If they can get off to a good start and feel comfortable first game, that will be a real boost.

"The rain hasn’t helped us. We had time in Desert Springs which was good together. We got some good training in there, but we’ve been hit a little bit by the weather.

"That said we’ve had some practice against Middlesex and Worcestershire. We had three of the four days outside which we’re happy with. Everyone’s excited and raring to go."

Hampshire have added to their squad with the addition of former Sussex man Ali Orr - while Australia's Michael Neser and Afghanistan's Naveen-ul-Haq will join later in the Summer.

White insists Orr has settled in well and he is looking forward to him forming an exciting partnership with another talented young player in the side.

He continued: "Ali has fitted in really well. He’s been one of the players who has been around over the winter. He’s impressed everyone with his attitude and his desire to do well.

"He started off very well in the pre-season games, getting a 50. He’s ready to go. The top of the order was an area we felt we needed to strengthen.

"Hopefully, he forms a really good partnership with Fletcha Middleton, who’s a homegrown player who impressed us last summer."

Captain James Vince and all-rounder Liam Dawson have spent their whole careers at the county - while also having successful T20 careers with various franchise sides around the world.

White, who played himself for Hampshire between 1994 and 2002 before retiring, has praised the duo for helping to "build the culture" which has in turn helped the county to attract players.

He claimed: "It is their club and that’s what we want to build here. We want a place where players feel at home. They build the culture. They’ve grown up here. 

"We’ve been able to attract good players. I think that’s down to those guys and the success they’ve created on the pitch. We’re blessed on that side of things.

"We’ve got a great facility here, two pitches, great training facilities. We’re well placed, and we are looking to build that all the time."