Dawdon, relegated last season, start life in Division Two with a home match against Ushaw Moor on Saturday.
The Green Drive men are targeting an instant return to the top flight.
Secretary Steve Dent said: “We have one ‘new’ old recruit, in Jamie Greenwood who returns from playing at Horden.
“He is an all-rounder, but his emphasis is on batting.
“The club’s first-team squad is mainly full of local players, who have been with the club since junior days and are captained by one of them, Ryan Consitt.
“The aim this year is to return to the First Division after the heartache of relegation last season.”
Ushaw Moor finished third last season, so are sure to offer a tough start for Dawdon.
Littletown, the other team to be relegated last term, face a tough task at Hylton, who ended fourth in 2017.
Greg Arundel, Littletown’s head of cricket, said: “We have lost four players following relegation last year, including Archi Goenka, who has gone to University.
“Joe Dodd has now signed for Tudhoe as their captain and Berwick Hall has gone to Bill Quay. We have no overseas professional this year, but we have brought in four new players.
“We have Patrick Stephenson, who we have signed from Ushaw Moor, and Calvin Stephenson (Patrick’s dad) has signed from Willington.
“We also have Graham Dodds, who has moved to the area from Scotland.
“Dan Pearson takes over from Bryan Conlon as captain this year, and Bryan becomes vice-captain. We have four debutants this Saturday and our team is at full strength.”
Ryhope, mid-table last season, begin away to Langley Park.
Official Greg Dixon said: “We have signed David Craig from Peterlee, but we will be trying to develop our younger players this season and will not be signing a professional.”
Skipper Chris Errington is looking forward to the season, but he is unavailable this weekend.
Silksworth finished bottom last summer, but they will hope for a bright start to the new campaign, hosting Murton, who were third-bottom in 2017.
Evenwood, who welcome Peterlee, have signed Crook’s Andrew Robinson and Andrew Rowell from Blyth.
Secretary Luke Bannister said: “We have some good players coming through from the second team, so things are positive around the club.”
Boldon CA, second-bottom last year with just a solitary in, start at home to Hunwick, who are making their DCL debut following promotion from the North East Durham League.