Month: July 2014

A New Season… A New Role

A New Season - Post

No matter how old you are, with every season, the first step is the important one. It’s the moment you start out all over again, full of dreams and hope.

This is a new season with new opportunities, as you re-acquaint yourself with the feel of five and half ounces of leather in your hand, or a couple of kilos of willow wrapped inside your batting gloves. There is still some time for reflection …  the effluvium of summers past that comes roaring out of your kit bag the first time it is opened in two or three months. But that, too, is a sign-post to the future.

It’s at these moments you discover if you have a soul, because if you don’t feel these things, the great pull of the summer, game, then you just might not have one. But if this wonderful photo of Lewis Green at our holy of holies does renew the great gravitational pull of cricket on your soul, you know what to do … get along to training, start working hard, and start the dream all over again.

A pre-season is almost upon us….  We have created a Organisational Chart where all the roles (no doubt there are more) are listed. We are seeking for everyone to attach his or her name to a role that you think you can contribute to for the upcoming season. Don’t worry if a name is already listed, there can be more than one person in any role and we need succession planning.

Please email feedback@two-blues.com.au with your choice of role, we are looking at completing all the roles by the 11th August 2014.

Click here for our clubs Organisational Chart

Looking forward to seeing you all at our first pre-season training session on the 3rd August. Click here for the training schedule.

Go the Two-Blues!

A Newtown & Chilwell Hero

As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War l, it is worth reflecting that there is a foreign field, a small piece of France, that is forever Newtown and Chilwell.

It is grave of the club’s founding secretary, Adrian Ambrose Connor.

A.A. Connor, as his name appears in gold letters on the club’s honour boards, went to Chilwell Primary School and The Gordon.

When World War l broke out, despite being something of a pacifist, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces and was shipped off to France where was wounded at the fated Battle of Fromelle on July 19th, 1916.

He suffered severe injuries to the chest and head while fighting near the village of Fleurbaix and was admitted to 8 Field Ambulance and later conveyed by ambulance train to 8 Australian General Hospital at Calais.

He died as a result of his wounds on July 30th at the British General Hospital and was buried in Calais’s British Southern Cemetery.

He was 28.

As well as helping found Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club, Connor was also prominent in athletics, not just in Geelong, but nationally as was noted in this obituary published by The Geelong Advertiser.

The Guild flag flew at half-mast yesterday, for the name of Adrian Connor, the well-known Marathon and long distance runner has been added to the long list of those who have given their all for King and Empire. “Mat” or “Mac” as his many friends called him, was one of the quiet workers.

If a word could describe him it would be such a one as “untiring.”

It is many years ago that Mat Connor was one of a group of lads who had banded themselves together just because they were boys, and wanted their energies directed in the gymnasium or other physical recreation.

Mac and his friends saw a vision of greater things for young men – the mental, physical and spiritual uplift that an Association or a Guild with a Hall of its own would mean to them and their fellows.

This ideal looked far away, but the tireless energy of the lad and his companions was consummated in the building and opening of the Guild Hall in Myers Street in 1908.

Mat Connor gave of his small earnings, and encouraged others to give, and so the Hall was built.

In that Guild Mat Connor learned to read and to speak in public.

His friends will remember the peculiar shake of his head as he talked in debate, and his apparent nervousness in speech making, but they will also remember the indomitable tireless will with which he cured himself of these defects, and became in turn committee-man, assistant secretary, treasurer and vice-president of the Guild he helped to make and which he loved.

In the Literary section, by sheer plodding and perseverance, he became a Gold Medallist; in the Gymnasium he was a worker and leader; in Bible Class he was a regular attendant and willing student.

In all these departments Mat was loved as no other man was by his fellow members.

But it was in the Harrier section of the Guild that the name of Mat Connor became a household word among the amateur athletes of Australia; whose records find an honourable position for his name.

His quiet work among the Guild Harriers will be long remembered by many boys now grown to manhood.

It was Connor who encouraged the novice.

It was Connor who would set the pace and yet keep his eye on the tired straggler.

It was Connor who by numerous acts of unselfishness brought many a youngster out of his shell and developed the man within him.
He did not lay himself out to achieve social success.

He was not a seeker after popularity, nor did he court notoriety.

He was essentially a student always seeking to improve himself. The mainspring of his life was the desire to help others, cost what it would, and the number is not few who can testify to his generous spirit and unselfish attitude. No man ever heard him speak ill of another.

To know him was to love him, and his memory will inspire and spur his friends to do higher and nobler things.

When the call for military service came, Connor, the man of peace, the hater of strife, offered his services to his country, and those who knew the circumstances surrounding his enlistment, marvelled at this nature.

Now Mat has run his race. He ran it patiently, doggedly, this life race in which he was so interested.

And the Great Judge or Umpire will write in the book of life against the name of Adrian Connor just these words, – “WELL RUN MAT.

As well as he ran, and he competed all over Australia and might have also run internationally but for the war, it seems that A.A. Connor was not much of a cricketer, the records of the time including quite a few ducks.

Sadly for his family, Connor wasn’t the only one killed in World War 1, as this article published in 1917 attests:

THREE NOBLE BROTHERS

While many people are enjoying the privileges of a free country too little attention is given by some to the heroic deeds of those who are helping to keep it so, and when a father has lost three sons in the war, as Mr George Connor has done, it should make a few of our eligible men rise to the occasion and do their bit also.

John George Conner, the eldest, enlisted at Geelong in July, 1915, and trained at Seymour and Geelong.

He left Australia in January, 1916, took part in the fighting at Bapaume and Bullecourt, and was killed in action at Bullecourt on May 12, 1917.

Prior to enlisting he was a landscape gardener. He was an active member of the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, Loyal Geelong Lodge, and the cricket club, and was also treasurer of the Gardeners’ Union during its existence in Geelong.

Adrian, the second son, enlisted with his elder brother, and sailed at the same time. He was wounded in the battle of Pozieres, and died on July 31, 1916.

He was in the employ of a well-known Geelong firm of timber merchants and saw millers.

A good all-round athlete, he particularly distinguished himself as a long distance cross-country runner, and was accepted to represent this country in the Marathon races at Athens, when the Balkans war broke out and stopped the Games.

He was an enthusiastic church, Sunday school, and temperance worker.

The third son, Henry Malvern, after having been previously rejected, was accepted in March, 1916, and sailed on May 5 as a member of the machine gun section.

After some training in England he passed the examination for corporal. Fighting at Bapaume on March 24, he received wounds in the head, and died shortly afterwards without having recovered consciousness.

He was formerly engaged in clerical work, was an expert shorthand writer, and was for some time on the “Geelong Advertiser.” He was-well known as a singer, and was a member of All Saints Church choir, Geelong.

When the going gets tough during pre-season training, or in the heat of games this summer, something to remember perhaps.

N&CCC – A History of Greatness

Great sporting teams always keep their eye on the present, and the future, but they never forget their past.

As Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club prepares for another pre-season, and the summer of 2014/15 ahead under new coach Rod Kiddle, it’s no bad thing to look back on that past.

After all Rocket, as we all know, is a huge and proud part of it.

So too are many others, a few of whose names ring not just through the history of our club, but the game of cricket itself – one Australian captain; one of the nation’s finest batsmen and a cricket administrator who along the way to becoming the chairman of Cricket Australia, drove a lot of people batty.

Let’s start with that Australian captain. Lindsay Hassett played for our club before going on to greatness as Ray Robinson’s fabulous “Puck In Flannells”.

In his magnum opus On Top Down Under, Robinson wrote of Hassett: “At Geelong College Lindsay was captain of cricket and football; 1931 tennis champion of Victorian Public Schools; he had scored a schoolboy record of 2,191 runs in 41 innings (six 100s) in his five years at the college … at 17 still at College, Lindsay dashingly made 147, the only century of West Indies game against Victorian Country at Geelong.”

There’s something for a few young NCCC schoolboys to think about.

Also, while still at school, Lindsay Hassett played for that famous nursery of Australian cricket, South Melbourne, progressing to the Victorian and then the Australian team for which played 43 Tests alongside such luminaries at D.G. Bradman, K.R. Miller and R.R. Lindwall, scoring 3073 runs at a tad over 46.

When that all finished, he became a revered part of the ABC Radio cricket commentary team.

Ian Redpath, the great Australian batsmen, holds a special place in the history of Australian cricket. He was the last person to play Sheffield Shield cricket as an amateur.

He did that to retain his amateur status to he could play for our sister football club, Geelong Amateurs.

His name is up on some of the Ammo’s honour boards – in gold.

He might also have featured in the previous article about NCCC cricketers who played in the AFL/VFL for Geelong but for a knee injury.

So instead of footy, he followed Hassett’s cricketing path – Geelong College, South Melbourne, Victoria and Australia.

Redders played in 66 Tests, scoring 4737 runs at an average of around 43.

One his finest innings was against the great English quick John Snow.

It was Greg Chappell’s first Test and when he joined Redders at the wicket, the Englishman was on fire and Australia was in trouble.

As those who know Redders know this: he takes a bit longer than most folk to get to the end of his sentences however, it is always worth the wait. For Chappell it certainly was. Redpath said to him: “You stay down that end and I will take care of Snowy!”

He certainly did. Both batsmen made centuries.

Cricket administrators are never quite lauded like Test heroes, and so they bloody well shouldn’t be.

As Bill O’Reilly used to say “cricket administrators are the blokes who looked after everyone’s cardigans on school sports days”.

And there’s this one, too: What’s the difference between a cricket administrator and a shopping trolley?

Answer: You can fit more food and alcohol into a cricket administrator.

Bob Merriman is probably an exception, at least to the O’Reilly observation; we know plenty who would beg to differ on the shopping trolley.

Those who saw Bob play put into that great sporting catch-all: ‘best never to have’.

If you take a look at Barnso’s bible, you will discover “Brown Arms” had a remarkable cricket record for NCCC, one probably not recognised years later when Bob was taking fielding practice with the Australian team before a Test match in Perth.

Jim Woodward, cricket writer for The Daily Telegraph, reckoned one of the things wrong with the Australian side at the time was that Merriman, then getting close to 50, was running the fielding practice for the home side, while the West Indian slips cordon had Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards slamming balls at them.

In reality the thing wrong with the Australian side back then was Holding, Garner, Marshall and Walsh.

As the Antiguan knight would often say: “It doesn’t matter what we score maaan, we will always bowl you out for less!”

A host of Two-Blues have graduated from the Queens Park nursery to first-class cricket and other higher honours.

Barnso has some of them listed in his Bible.

One notable, even though he didn’t play first-class cricket is Tim Anderson, son of club icon Paul, who captained the Australian Under 19 team.

Tim’s greatest achievements are now coming off the field – working with the International Cricket Council to develop the game in exotic locations all over the planet.

Around about now you can hear the patron David Shaw getting a bit restless, so we had better mention Lindsay Hassett’s brother, Dick, who played eight games for Victoria mainly as a googly bowler, and John Shaw, who toured New Zealand with the Australian team and scored a century.

He was a NCCC First Xi player for three years.

The creation of the Gooch/Insole Scholarship by Newtown and the English county Essex has added to the number of first-class players produced by the club.

The inaugural scholarship holder, Jaik Mickleburgh, made his first-class debut for Essex in 2008, scoring a half-century.

Two years later Mike Comber made his debut for Essex against Bangladesh, scoring 19 runs and taking three wickets.

So it’s worth remembering as we all work together planning and practising for the next season that we are also treading in the heavy footsteps of many wonderful cricketers.

And that should not be a burden, but rather the inspiration for new generations from “this club, our club” that great things have come, and will continue to come.

2014 – 2015 Pre-Season Training Schedule for AUGUST

Here are the booked times & dates for our 2014/2015 August pre-season schedule below. Initially we will break it down into months so we can build-up slowly through August then hit September in preparation for the first weekend in October.

“So mark these dates down on your calendar “

September will be a totally different format which will also include some social functions.

The month of August is going to be about getting back together and setting up the season for everyone. It’s mostly going to be about working on any technical faults you may have picked up plus the methods needed to become a better cricketer for yourself and for the team all facilitated by the Club.

So August is “CRITICAL“if you want to set yourself up for a good year personally.

 Geelong Indoor Sports Centre – 13 Gravel Pits Road, South Geelong

  • Date:         Sunday          3rd of August    11 am to 1 pm
  • Date:         Sunday        17th of August     11 am to 1 pm
  • Date:         Sunday        24th of August     11 am to 1 pm
  • Date:         Sunday        31th of August     11 am to 1 pm

Barwon Valley Activity Centre – 1 Barwon Heads Road, Belmont (Opposite entrance to K-Mart in Belmont)

  • Date:         Thursday 7 August 2014              BVAC – Court Three 07:00 pm to 09:00 pm
  • Date:         Monday 11 August 2014              BVAC – Court Three 08:00 pm to 10:00 pm
  • Date:         Tuesday 19 August 2014             BVAC – Court Three 09:00 pm to 10:00 pm = “MASTERCLASS SESSION”

The above sessions are paid for by the club so we need to make sure that we make 100% use of the facilities and that you also make the effort to attend on the above dates.

Please be there 15 minutes prior to the noted times so you can be ready to go.

See you soon,

Rod “Rocket” Kiddle

Mobile: 0409 524 841

VFL/AFL players – Is this a record?

The Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club could probably claim a place in the Guinness Book of Records for having featured the most VFL/AFL football players on its playing lists. And not just in modern times. This marvelous record goes right back to the early days of the club, which is now in its 114th year.

Among the most modern, try these: Paul Chapman, David Johnson, Steve Johnson, Tom Hawkins, Josh Hunt, James Kelly, Andrew Mackie. A few years back, Paul Brown, who played 84 games for Geelong between 1990 and 1988, spent a successful year as a wicket keeper batsman in the 2nds, playing in a grand final.

Gareth Andrews, who played for both Geelong and Richmond, where he won a premiership, took 8-61 on his debut for the club. He also, via Sam Newman, gave us one of the most colourful descriptions of a footballer. Said Sam after watching Gareth in action: He is to kicking what Sir Robert Helpman is to oxy-welding. Sorry Gareth, couldn’t resist that. And as far as we’re concerned, you were to bowling was Sir Robert Helpman was to ballet.

Then there is the incomparable Greg Wells on whom we believe Sam Newman to be completely silent, but we could be corrected on that. Goose played four games for Geelong, but a heck of a lot more for “this club, our club”.

And the equally incomparable Battler, Russell Mitchell – two games for Geelong, a lifetime and a life membership at Newtown. A man of great wit and wisdom, it has been said of Russell that standing next to him in the slips cordon, you can learn more about life than you might doing three years of philosophy at one of Australia’s best universities.

Back in the sepia times just after the turn of the 19th century, Ted Rankin – as well as taking a five-for for us – was the first Geelong player to reach 100 games. He also made it into the Catters’ Team of the Century. He and his son Cliff, who played 153 games for Geelong, both turned out for Newtown.

Les Sanderson has provided the names of three more players who have completed the great double – N&CCC and GFC, they are Mark Browne, Chris Lynch and Kevin Higgins.

Graeme Chisholm has reminded us that Neil Gibson, Rob Steven, Harvey Davis and Stephen Lunn also achieved the double.

There might not be a time far off when another illustrious Geelong name is added to this list … Anthony William Brownless. He has it in his mind to play a game with the richly talented Oscar.

These examples are not meant to be definitive, and no doubt the incomparable David Paul Barnes, our venerable historian, knows a few more. And if you know a few more, let us know.

Next, we will feature N&CCC players who have gone on to play first-class cricket, and in two cases, to play Test cricket.