Saturday 31st December 2016


In terms of our recent history 2016 was the worst for a generation, with all three junior teams relegated and the 1stXI finishing only seventh in the Premier League largely on the back of Pieter Malan’s heroics.

We all know that our playing strength has been decimated in recent years - retirements, work related relocations, fall outs, the lure of the dollar – we can blame all of these and more, but the bottom line is now we have to dust ourselves down, roll up the sleeves and continue on with the job of building a solid foundation for the future.

Two years ago we started an intensive coaching scheme in our two local primary schools and this year we added a Kwik Cricket programme at the club on Friday nights. These are the building blocks for the future and in the coming years we want to expand these greatly to create a much bigger group of youngsters as they are the adult players of the future.

We’re delighted to welcome Bumper Dale as our new youth co-ordinator and the enthusiasm shown already by the youth committee is extremely encouraging. I made a promise at the AGM that the Executive Committee would plough whatever resources that were needed into youth cricket and I think we’ve been good to that word with an array of coaches available to Billy the like of which we haven’t seen before… now we must fill the pitch with enthusiastic players of all ages and abilities!

It isn’t a quick fix, we can only hope to see the benefits of this in the medium to long term so in the short term we must accept our medicine. We must encourage people who could play a role at the club to turn out and play, and for those who have played a bit, commit to play for the whole season and make a real difference.

Indoor nets will soon be underway and before you know it Paul, Gatch and Big Ray will be working away at The Green making sure once again we will have the best grounds in the country to play on. All this means I’ll soon be seeking help with all sorts of things from fundraising to ‘work squads’ for the ground, throw your support behind these initiatives; it can be very rewarding to help out…

I hope this message will plant the seed regarding how important next year is, and provide a little ‘food for thought’ with the new season just around the corner.

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2017.

Pete Shields



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