Month: July 2010

Sam Arthurton on coming to Newtown, playing with his Dad – and against Monty Panesar!

Read the exclusive interview with our Centenary Year import here:

TWO BLUE TRIBUNE:  Hi Sam and welcome in advance to Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club, what have you heard about us so far?

Sam Arthurton:  Well I played in a Second XI game the other day with both Jaik Mickleburgh and Michael Comber and they had some pretty good things to say about Newtown and being out in Australia.  I think both have a lot of pretty happy memories of playing with the club and still keep in contact with a lot of players and friends they made here via Facebook.  Jaik has been doing well in the first XI and Mike made his first-class debut this year against Bangladesh, so they’re both moving along pretty well.  John Childs, the coach at Essex, has also spoken highly of the club and the way you look after our players.

TBT: What are you hoping to get out of your time with Newtown?

SA: Well, I hope to learn as much as I can. I know the club has a new coach and I am looking forward to working with him.  Essex will set me some goals as well and I am sure they will be in contact with Bryan Thomas on those.  Basically, I want to really enjoy my cricket and get to see as much of the country a I can.

TBT: Tell us a bit about your cricket so far. We know you’re a member of the Graham Gooch Cricket Academy at Essex?

SA: Well I am a top order batsman with my club Great Witchingham and I also bowl leg-spin. As well as playing for my club, I have represented Norfolk in the Minor Counties competition, as did Jaik, and played for the Essex Second XI. Last season, I made a century against Glamorgan in a Second XI game and that was a real thrill.  Obviously, I would like to improve my batting in Australian conditions and also my leg-spin.  They say Australia is a great place to bowl leg-spin. I hope that will be the case for me and I can improve my bowling while I am out there.

TBT: Your Dad also plays with Great Witchingham?

SA: Yeah he does and just recently we had the thrill of batting our team to victory together.  Dad has always been one of my biggest supporters and it is always a thrill to play with him.  I know Newtown and Chilwell has a lot of father/son combinations, so that’s something I will have in common when I get out there.

TBT: Who is the best player you have played with so far, and don’t worry, if you don’t say your Dad, or Jaik or Michael, we won’t tell them.

SA:  I would say Grant Flower. Grant is a true professional cricketer who always gives 100% on the field and is a nice guy off it. He plays spin with ease and manages to hit gaps just as easily. He is almost at the end his career but still works just as hard as he did when he was playing Test cricket for Zimbabwe and this is why he is someone you want on your team.

TBT: We see you played against Monty Panesar in a recent Second XI game, is he the best bowler you have played against so far in your career?

SA:  Yeah he is one of them. I also played against Simon Jones earlier in the season and he was also a tricky opponent just like Panesar. I am going to say both of them!

Sam Arthurton is an 18-year-old cricketer from Norfolk who is a member of the Essex Cricket Academy. He will be playing for Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club in the 2010/2011 Centenary Season as part of our club’s on-going partnership with the Essex County Cricket Club.

This is the link to his career statistics so far.


And anyone can be part of it…

Bryan Thomas talks exclusively to the Two Blues Tribune.

Two Blues Tribune: Welcome to the club Bryan. How have you found us so far?

Bryan Thomas: Well before I answer that, I would like to say thanks to the club for this opportunity to be the coach in the Centenary year. And I also want to thank the people who have been coaching and leading the club in recent years for doing a great job in what I think we all believe have been pretty tough years.  Now to answer your question, I think everyone accepts that Newtown is a well run club off the field. I was impressed by the way the club ran the presentation night at the end of the last season. As I said then, there aren’t too many clubs in Geelong that would have that standard of function.  The playing facilities are terrific and will only get better when the new nets are in place.  But the most obvious thing for me to address are the performances over the past few summers, particularly the turf teams.  The hard wicket boys have done a pretty good job of getting into the finals in most years.  Essentially, I am still working my way into the club, just looking and listening. What I can say is I am a person who works with positives and tends to ignore the negatives. I have seen a lot around the club that is very positive indeed and that’s where I will be really concentrating my efforts.  Positive reinforcement is a major part of my coaching approach.

TBT: So if we were to ask you where we might be come March in 2011, what would you say?

BT:  Mmmm, probably one year into a three-year re-building process.  There are no miracles: certainly I am no miracle worker.  I think there are some coaching initiatives we can take immediately to make training a more thorough and enjoyable part of our game.  Obviously, we are recruiting new players. But I cannot say it strongly enough:  that doesn’t mean the blokes who’ve been here over the past two summers are just going to be pushed aside. Rather what you tend to find in sport is that if you add a few new players to a really loyal and hard-working group of existing players, those blokes blossom.  So if you were a bloke who got a game on turf last year, rest assured, you’re just as much in the frame this year as last. That applies to hard wicket players, too. Just because you played hard wicket last year doesn’t mean you’re off the radar this year.  I am new to the club and essentially don’t know anyone. So if I see someone putting in at training, getting themselves fit and really doing everything right, I will be considering them for selection, not worrying about where they played last season. Of course, what happens from there will depend on attitude, attendance at training and ultimately performance on the ground over the course of the season.  But right now,  no one is in and no one is out.

TBT: A three-year re-building plan, sounds like you’re in it for the long haul?

BT: Yep, with Neville Crane and the rest of the cricket department, we’ve identified a long -term plan and we will stick to it.  You know we’ve got some really good people around this club.  It is a real thrill to be working with Don Royce. What that bloke doesn’t know about cricket administration hasn’t happened yet.  Max Ellis also offers a lot of wisdom.  Our new coaching group will spread the load more evenly.  One prediction I will make is that we will see a new and refreshed Ben Neville this year. When you talk about recruits, I think our best recruit is already here – Ben! Relieved of all the coaching duties, he will have a great season.   He can’t help but do that because he is such a great player.  And the fact we might not have got a gun recruit per se this year leaves us with that opportunity next year.

TBT: Can you give us a hint about some of the recruits?

BT:  I’d love to, but at the moment, we’re just working away with a lot of names, former players we’d like to come back, other youngsters who can see an opportunity at Newtown to improve their game.  One thing for certain is that we will be a young side, one that will need a lot of patience and support.  I know people have been saying that at Newtown for the past few years now, but there’s no getting away from it, we will be a young side, a bit inexperienced, but I think one that will want to learn quickly.  And that’s what I am about really. As a coach, your job is to show people how to improve their game. And when you see someone take on what you’re saying then go out and improve their game, well it’s why you do the job.  If that flows on to team success and all the rest of it, that’s a real bonus.  But first things first, let’s really concentrate on getting the basics right, whether those basics are someone’s individual technique, or the way we go about training, or the way we approach the game of cricket on Saturday.

TBT: If you had one bit of advice to the players, the new ones and the ones who’ve been at the club awhile now, what would it be?

BT: Cricket season goes from September to March. In fact when you include pre-season, it goes for longer then that. Particularly in the club’s 100th year, players should be ultra-prepared to commit for that period.  I know Neville has a view that there are only two reasons to miss a game of cricket– death or hospitalisation.  I also know we live in different times these days where there are a lot more demands on our time, but if you really want to get the best out of your cricket – and that’s where the ultimate enjoyment level is – well you won’t achieve that if your commitment is not 100 per cent, then add another 10 per cent.  That’s basically it. It’s not rocket science. You will ultimately get back from cricket what you put in. And blokes who put in will well and truly impress the coach, the chairman of selectors and rest of the cricket department no matter who they are or where they might have played in the past.

Bryan Thomas is one of Geelong’s most successful coaches.  In 2010/2011, he will be both the senior coach and bowling coach at N&CCC.

Bryan is a Qualified Level 2 coach who has an outstanding record with St Joseph’s in the GCA taking over 200 wickets in the first XI. Brian also heads the Barwon Rockets U/18’s side as Coach, where he was instrumental in the U/18 Rocket’s winning the Commonwealth Bank Trophy in 2008/09.

The Pres Speaks

Dear All,

Last Wednesday night, we had our first regular committee meeting since I became your president.

First can I say again, what an honour it is to be asked to do this job in our Centenary Year.

There are a few things to report to you coming out of the meeting.

Last Wednesday night the Centenary Committee we’ve established also had its first meeting.

I attended and I’ve got to say we’re off to a good start with lots of good people coming up with lots of good ideas.

Still quite a few of the logistics to lock away but at this stage we plan to hold a weekend event in February that will include a major function on the Saturday night followed by some 20/20 cricket on the Sunday at Queens Park.

Venues, times, etc for the main dinner are still to be finalised as we try to get a feel for just how many people we will have attending. As most of you will know, our facilities at Queens Park can’t cope with huge numbers.

One thing the committee is doing is sending out a survey to see how many people will attend. Please fill that in and get it back ASAP.

Also get the message out to as many former N&CCC players as you can about this being the Centenary Year and make it clear they are welcome, along with their partners and other family members.

This is a huge year for our club in so many respects. Hundreds – and the celebrating of them – are one of the core bits of cricket. So let really start thinking Centenary.

Our coach Bryan Thomas came along to the main committee meeting and he and I were able to report that we are working together on some solid recruiting programs. We will have more on that over the next little while. Best just to say we’re on the job and things are looking promising in a lot of areas.

Scott Mullen presented his first treasurer’s report and things look good in that area at the moment. However, we do have the expenses of the new practice facilities to meet, so that is going to require good financial management and lots of new fund-raising ideas.

Phillip Morgan is also working well in terms of getting us the news sponsorships we need. Again, if you know of someone who should be sponsoring our club, then let Morgo know.

And I use the word should because as a club, we provide an enormous community service for six and more months of the year, catering for cricketers from five to 50, even beyond in the case of the new Over 60’s team that uses our facility.

Memberships are another vital revenue source. Col Cunliffe is again off and running in this area and details will go up on our new website soon. There are some small but important changes for you to note but I will leave that to Col to explain in full.

Can I just say, take advantage of the discounts for early payments. That helps you and it also helps the club generate money early in the season.

I don’t know a lot of about websites, but when also during the meeting Scott showed the committee a draft version of our new website, it met with great approval around the table.

It was suggested that when up and running, no other club in Geelong would have a website even close to as good as ours.

That will be a great way to showcase our sponsors, our news stories, our results and in our 100th year – our history.

Of course websites don’t you win you premierships, but they are all part of the process of making sure your whole club is working well – and working together.

I want to reiterate the need to ensure that people like Phillip Morgan, Colin Cunliffe and Scott Mullen are not to be left to work alone.

In that regard, I am pleased to announce that Wednesday three more portfolios were filled: Kevin Simonsen as the Assistant Secretary, James Purcell and Tom Levick as Complex Managers and Brett Loats as Social Committee Leader.

I am again asking people to come forward to be part of all our support teams. They will certainly be out there seeking that support.

We have within our club people of many diverse talents that we should all be using to ensure we’re going forward.

Don’t wait to be asked. We didn’t get to be one of the greatest clubs in Geelong with a century of fine achievement because of people who waited to ask.

As the life members in gold lettering in our rooms attest, we got there because of people who came forward willingly to do all the jobs, big and little, that had to be done.

I would love to see new generations of gold letters up there, drawn from people who came forward in our 100th year.

We are a club going forward, make no mistakes about that. The speed of that progress will only be enhanced by a whole of club approach from within.

We can debate internally, and we do, but once we make a decision to take a certain path, let’s all get behind it.

I’ve been in cricket long enough to know the rewards of unity, of team play.

Neville Crane