STEVE PATTERSON says silverware is a realistic aim for Yorkshire in 2020.

The White Rose captain, pictured, is in bullish mood as the new season approaches, talking up their winter preparation so far and the club’s “excellent” recruitment drive.

'Transition' has been an often-used word since the county went close to winning a third straight Specsavers County Champ-ionship title in 2016, with success not that close in any of the three subsequent campaigns.

However, when listening to Patterson talk up the county’s hopes for success, it is fair to assume the 'T'- word will not be used as much from now on.

He said: “I genuinely do think we can win something.

“If you look back at our Championship performances last year, we had two disappointing games at the back end - Somerset away and Kent at home, which we accept.

"But prior to that, we were third and not a million miles from the top of the table.

"For the side we had, it was a huge achievement.

“If you look at where we are this year compared to last, we are better placed.

“When I spoke about this season at Edgbaston during that last game in September, I said, ‘A high-quality overseas is key and someone to bolster our batting’. So bringing in Keshav Maharaj, Ravi Ashwin and Dawid Malan are excellent pieces of business by the club.

“I think we're in a lot stronger position than last year. We have brought those lads in, and our younger lads have another year of experience behind them. Will Fraine, Matthew Fisher, Tom Kohler-Cadmore - these sorts of players. I think it'll be a really big year for Tom.

“We also have an overseas for 10 to 12 games instead of four or five that we had Kesh for last year. That’s a huge boost for us.

“We were light on batting last year, but we’ve signed Dawid. He is a quality, quality player, an international cricketer. His achievements speak for themselves.”

Yorkshire’s squad have been back in training since November and are building up to a mid-March pre-season tour (details to be announced shortly) and the first Championship game against Gloucestershire at Emerald Headingley on Sunday, April 12.

Another reason to hearten seamer Patterson is the continuity which comes with fewer players being abroad this winter.

“We’ve had quite a few lads in, and they’ve worked really hard on both their physical shape and cricket skills,” he said.

“As a squad in previous years we’ve kind of been all over the place, but this winter, by and large, everyone’s been here. Dave’s (Willey) been in, Lythy’s been around. Gary (Ballance) and Brez have been given a bit more time off, but everyone else has been in aside from the obvious ones like Rooty and Jonny, Duanne being in South Africa.

“It’s been really good for the environment and the atmosphere. It pushes lads to work as hard as they can because they see the competition in front of them and think, ‘I want to give myself the best chance’.

“Hopefully, by the time the season comes around, we have covered every base and it should be an exciting start to the year.”

Meanwhile, Yorkshire are hoping to have England Test captain Joe Root available for five of the first six Championship matches this summer.

If all goes to plan, Root would miss the opening game against Gloucestershire, which follows on quickly from England’s two-Test series in Sri Lanka, before making his seasonal debut against champions Essex at Chelmsford (April 19).

He would play in matches against Essex away, Surrey at home, Hampshire away, Kent at home and Northamptonshire away ahead of England’s international summer.