Good day everyone,
We had our meeting of the N&CCC committee last Wednesday night, so time to bring you up to date with what’s happening at our club.
Perhaps the most heartening thing that is happening is the wonderful attendances at training. It is the best pre-season attendance that we have had for many years. So far 65 different players have attended training. That’s a great credit to our coach, Bryan Thomas, and to Don Royce and the rest of the cricket department. It is also a credit to those players themselves. They have latched on to the new approach at Newtown with both hands.
In addition to the bevy of regular faces, the following new players have been to training:
Tim Nunn, Bennett Merriman, Dan O’Keefe, Peter Lynch, Nigel Jenkins, David Anderson, Hayden Down, Matthew Laughnane, Jack Wood & Levi Dare.
On behalf of N&CCC I would like to welcome you and I am sure your club-mates will have also made you feel welcome. I am led to believe that a few more regulars and newcomers will be arriving now that football season is drawing to an end. I estimate that there are approximately 35 other players who intend playing with us this season but have not as yet trained. Would all players please take this as a friendly warning. Pre season training will be a significant factor in selection in Rounds 1 & 2 (both one day games). Only 44 people can get selected so there will unfortunately be some disappointments.
One of the other things to come out of Wednesday’s meeting was the confirmation of our new Junior Co-Ordinator. Tony Jefferies has been a great servant of club in the past, especially as a player. Now he will be helping bring on a new generation of N&CCC players, including a few Jefferies, which is also a pretty good sign for our club. Tony will co-ordinate a team of coaches that includes Ian Dalrymple, Ian Hastie, Grant Witham, Alan Wells, Andrew Green, Rowan Gow, Steve Skinner, Trevor Bartlett and Anthony Sirganis. It should also be noted that Tony is also training in a very impressive fashion so hopefully we may get some games out of him again this season!
Coach Bryan Thomas and I attended the junior meeting on August 25th. Bryan re-enforced his belief in how important the junior program is, while I outlined the whole of club approach. It should also be noted that Max Ellis and Mark Turnley who have both contributed significantly to getting the juniors organised for Tony this year have done a fantastic job. The adult body have further committed to the juniors in agreeing to provide a roster of adult players to assist with junior training this year. I also made it clear that our juniors and their parents would be welcome at our Centenary Dinner on February 26th next year. Please note that the Junior Registration day will be Thursday September 16th from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the club rooms.
As Tony takes over the reins, I want to give full credit to Mark Turnley for the role he has carried out over the past few years. Mark has done a fantastic job, from rounding up people to help him with registration days and presentation nights; to dealing with all the little, sensitive issues that go with coaching not just the youngsters sometimes, but their parents; to representing the interests of the juniors on committee, he has done it all. In his time in charge he has provided the senior club with the most talenedt group of juniors for many years. On behalf of N&CCC Mark, I extend our enormous gratitude on a job well done. When the young blokes that you have helped nurture are winning premierships for us in the future, you should have one of the biggest grins in the club.
On GCA matters, we are pleased that Sam Arthurton has been approved as our overseas player. I have been having a number of email conversations with Sam and other people at Essex and I believe we will be getting a fine young man as well as a very good cricketer. Sam recently made his first century in the Minor Counties competition playing for Norfolk, for whom Jaik Mickleburgh also played. You might be interested to know that Sam and Jaik played each other in club cricket last weekend and Jaik got a duck and Sam 13 as Sam’s side won. The relationship with Essex is a very good one for our club and I am hoping that in our Centenary Year, we can strengthen the bonds even further, perhaps with a visit of Essex officials to Newtown. Sam is due to arrive on September 28th, at 5am. We need a volunteer or two to go to Tullamarine to pick him up.
A big issue for the GCA is a shortage of umpires. If you’re a N&CCC past player who would like to give something back to the game, while earning a few extra dollars on a Saturday, please make yourself available. Having umpires is one of the important things that sets the GCA apart from being just another bush league. Please contact me if you are interested.
We have notified the GCA that Ben Neville will be our professional player for the 2010 / 11 season. Ben may well be a ‘significant recruit’ as he is now able to concentrate on playing. And he course, he will be have the assistance of some of our new recruits as well.
The GCA have changed their criteria for relegation promotion and start a two year period with the 2009 / 10 season in which our club starts in 12th position out of 12. Let me implore you to put your club and your side before your individual wants and pursuits. Never before has our great club been so precariously placed with regards to relegation. The on-ground performance of our first four sides is the main determining factor in getting back up the Club Championship ladder. We must trust and support our selectors. We must clap every run and every wicket, and as a club share and rejoice in every win. Believe me, everyone will eventually get the opportunity that they deserve. When you do, make the most of it. Competition in the club is a healthy requirement for success and every time you train is a contribution to our club to ensure that those selected to represent us on the field understand the importance of their selection and the importance of performing at their best.
Work on the practice wickets is underway. I would like to thank Scott Mullen for his great work on this project, which is huge in both the amount of his time it is consuming, and also the impact on our budget. Unfortunately the rain may be slowing down progress at the moment.
The costs of the new nets puts a lot of emphasis on memberships – get in early and get the discount – and sponsorship. Phil Morgan and Brett Bentley have been out and about helping us improve our sponsorship performance on last season. If you have any ideas on new sponsors, or old ones we can welcome back into the fold, let me know and I will pass the information on to Phil asap.
Now, to the Centenary Dinner. We want to reach out to the whole N&CCC extended family for this one. The Centenary Committee has the names of about 800 people we want to contact, but don’t just leave it to them. If you know a former player, get on to them and tell them to go to the website and find out all the details. We want this night to be a splendid celebration of 100 wonderful years, involving as many people as we can find from that 100 years.
Because there is no President’s Dinner this year, we are looking to make up for that evening’s contribution to our revenues in other ways. Warwick Hadfield has donated one of the last bats signed by Sir Donald Bradman, with a certificate of authentication. We believe that via a globally marketed raffle that this will comfortably off-set the president’s dinner revenue loss. Other raffles on the night itself will also well and truly make up for this.
The venue for the event will be the new functions rooms at Cunningham Pier. We believe that as a national, even international centre-piece of our city, this is a highly appropriate venue to accommodate the sort of crowd we are expecting. I know there are some people who would like us to use our rooms, but if we get the crowd we expect, they just wouldn’t be big enough. We will however, be holding a back to Queens Park day on February 27th, which will include a couple of 20/20 games.
In finishing up, it’s now spring, we’ve had some good rain to liven up the outfield and the wickets and fill up the water tanks. There’s a real sense of anticipation about what lies ahead for us in 2010/2011. As the coach says, we are re-building, but with an enthusiasm that makes me very proud to be your president in our Centenary Year.