Month: July 2018

Leah Irving – Appointed as new Food Manager

The Newtown and Cricket Club is pleased to announce that Leah Irving will be Food Manager for the next season. “We welcome Leah on board,” said club president Frank Tuskes.

“Leah is in charge of organising food for the club whether we need some catering for past players day or organising meals for the players on a Thursday evening.

“She will be a ripper, but it is not a task to be left to Leah alone.

“This is a time for more and more people to be volunteering in this area and I am happy to hear from any one happy to help out their club.

“The Thursday night and Saturday night meals are a huge part of our club’s tradition and we look forward to Leah’s massive contribution building on all that over the summer.”

Leah Irving has a great record of community service in charitable organisation and sporting groups in the Geelong area.

“I am pleased to be working with the club,” she said.

“It has been a great place for my son Levi to grow up in and as a family, we would like to put something back.

“To be successful, we will need other parents to volunteer to help out in the kitchen, so please make contact, either with me or with Frank.

“Spreading the workload makes it easier for everyone to provide this valuable resource for the club.”

10 Questions with Brendan Twaddle

Q1: You are part of a highly respected  Father-son team at Newtown and Chilwell, tell us about your early memories of the club.

A1: I have quite a few memories of NCCC, funny enough one of the first was as an opposition player when I played at BPH. The game at the desert is where the infamous “Specs four pull shot” off my attempted bouncer story came from. Everyone knows the story and has heard it a 100 or so times. My first NCCC true memory was turning up to the club after getting cleared by BPH and
how welcoming everyone was. NCCC is a special place and it pretty much got a hold of me and hasn’t let go. Sporting clubs have an amazing power to bring people together and no club does it better than ours.

Q2: You had a bit of a break from the club to concentrate on baseball. What brought you back?

A2: I got a bit frustrated with cricket at one stage. The Seconds were incredibly strong, and I was a fringe player who had stiff competition to get through. I was a fair bit younger then and probably didn’t really read the situation well enough and got frustrated so I gave cricket away for a few years plus I was pretty heavily involved in baseball in quite a successful period of Saints Baseball
Club, so cricket took back seat while I focused on baseball. What bought me back was a mix of a few things. My Dad was making one of his numerous comebacks to NCCC and had committed to playing with Morgo in the Fifths, so I decided to join and play socially with my dad. Plus, I felt like I had unfinished business not having a photo on the wall.

Q3: You’ve become a powerhouse on the committee, completely revamping  the merchandise, what was your motivation there?

A3: Joining the committee is something that I have really enjoyed. The committee is full of a lot of people I consider good friends and I see it as a good combination of catching up with my good mates while also looking out for the club and its best interests which is something I am passionate about. The merchandise was and still is a big job but for me was a no-brainer. I never was a big
fan of the old merchandise, so I felt passionate about making a change that would change the identity of our club and bring some pride to wearing our colours. It’s something I am proud of, we should all be proud of wearing the Two Blues colours and hopefully this merchandise has achieved that.

Q4: You have played 125 games for the club across five grades, including two in the First XI, tell us about those.

A4: It’s funny how many games I can remember over the years mostly for good reasons. It’s a touch frustrating I didn’t get to play more games in the First XI or T20 games, but I wouldn’t change too much of what I have done. I have so many good memories from opening the bowling with Jacko Davis when he first started playing 2nds. The season I played under Russell Mitchell in that
stacked Second and we needed results to go our way to make finals and batting with Ian Hastie in a last wicket partnership that kept that dream alive. To the year in the Fifths with my dad and Morgo where we nearly stole a flag in a heavily stacked division. It was amazing playing the year with my Dad. It was always something I have wanted to do. The amazing thing about playing
at Newtown is the people for me. I have been a part of this amazing club for what feels so long now that I have played with Ian Hastie, Russell Mitchell, Graeme Chisholm and Devon Royce and the amazing thing for me is now I have played with their sons in the same club. Newtown has amazing facilities, but the club is so special because of the people in it.

Q5. You have just accepted the nomination as the GCA Division One delegate, what was your motivation to take on that role?

A5: This is a hard one to answer. I have taken this position for many reasons. I think it’s important the players get a say in the direction of cricket in Geelong. I also think it’s important that we (NCCC) contribute and have representation on the GCA committee. The main reason is I have come from a sport in baseball which is pretty much on its knees and in quite a lot of trouble and if we cricket people don’t get involved in this sport it could do the same. We aren’t the number one game in town and we need to adapt, and I certainly have opinions and ideas which can
only be heard properly if I am on GCA committee. I’ll try to do the best job to represent all cricket people and hopefully the right moves will be made for the game and its future in Geelong.

Q6. What do you see as the main challenge for you in that role?

A6: I am still awaiting the GCA for the official job description but the main reason I wanted to join revolves around the structure of the game and the players involved in it. As everyone knows I am a shift worker and many people are nowadays in a similar situation and the way cricket is structured makes it hard. Cricket in Geelong is in its most vulnerable and exciting position at the same time. I think the changes that could be made could be exciting for cricket and possibly strengthen it. At the same time if we don’t adjust to this new generation coming through and their clear like of the short game we could be left in a vulnerable position. Just think the game needs a bit more common sense bought into it. Listen to the people and what they want. Majority of people get lost in
the main reason why we play cricket. We play for FUN. Let’s make cricket FUN as far as I am concerned. The draw also needs looking into and possibly a few other aspects and hopefully I will
have a chance to have a say on behalf of all cricketers in GCA1.

Q7. Will you be keeping on the merchandising role and other hefty duties at our club that you have undertaken, or stepping back a little?

A7: Merchandising is a job that requires a lot of ground work and research. After designing our current  merchandising layout and range of merchandising the rest of the job is purely maintaining the current system with suppliers and stockists also with our many wonderful sponsors. I have been extremely lucky to have the help I have had from many people. It’s not a job I have done alone and a fair few people need credit also and thanks to them. I think I should be able to maintain the current role with the club but certainly won’t turn anyone away who is passionate about the
club and is willing to help. Cooper Bingham has recently jumped on board by designing a range of NCCC beanies which look fantastic and are worth checking on the website.

Q8. Dan Lawrence and Chris Pepper lived with your parents, Dominic Manthorpe lived with you, and there have been plenty of other English players through the club in recent times, do you have a favourite?

A8: You don’t realise how big of a job it is taking on an import player but for me it was a bit of a no-brainer and very rewarding. I played with Dom in the Seconds his first year out and we got along quite well. I suggested if he were to come back that we would host him, and he took up the offer and came back. Besides following Arsenal, he was quite “a good lad” as he would word it. We
also have formed a good friendship with his family and look forward to heading over there sooner rather than later. Daniel Lawrence was an amazing talent and I was very lucky to meet him. He also used to provide me a good laugh when I used to head to my parents where Daniel and my brother would fight over the Tim Tams in fridge. Chris was also a great person and hopefully he will
find the spark of cricket again, there is certainly talent there. I do have to say thanks to the guys. They treated my parents so well and respected them the whole way through and couldn’t say a bad word against either of them, they are family as far as I am concerned.

Q9. You haven’t won a premiership yet, but what is your best cricket memory with Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club?

A9: I am stuck in the infamous club of no photo on the wall. I would like to say it gets easier to deal with over time, but I think having that photo on the wall is the greatest trophy or recognition we give and should be every individual’s goal. Besides life membership there isn’t a greater privilege. I have played in a few grand finals now and have missed out on a few but plenty of time yet. Probably the favourite individual memory was the year I captained the Thirds and I copped a pasting off the then coach for a performance of the team against East Belmont (which I missed due to wisdom teeth getting removed) and coming out against Lara and pretty much just hitting boundaries and scoring my only century to date. I never thought I’d make one or even get close to making one. But as an overall memory it would probably be the Fifth’s semi-final I was involved in at East Belmont against the Lewis driven BPH. We were up against some of the worst individuals you
will ever play cricket with or against. Morgo had copped a relentless barrage from the BPH players and when they hit the ball in the air to him, out in the deep with a busted hand, he caught the ball that won us the game. We effectively had to take 15 wickets to beat them from all the cheating, but we had knocked the top side out of finals in a huge upset. I’ll never forget Morgo’s face
and knowing the next week we would be in the grand final.

Q10. And here it comes, your best Russell Mitchell story.

A10: Where do I go from here? So many stories on and off field. I think my main memory of Russell was when I first cracked the turf squad and played under him. It was a daunting deal. There were some amazing players in that team who were all super competitive. I remember the support he showed and the confidence in me to be a part of his team and that I would contribute. The last wicket partnership with Ian Hastie when we needed to win, I still remember Russell backing me in with Ian he was there the whole way supporting us until the winning runs were scored. The off field is easy. The year I captained we played Highton at Highton and I was umpiring central and Russell was watching at what I would say deep mid-wicketish and Batesy came in to bat. Batesy was in pretty ordinary form and was hit on the toe and I gave the decision not out suggesting it was going down leg which was followed by loud laughing from Russell and a few other comments
over the fence at me. Always supporting that Battler.

10 Questions with Biggsy

Q1: You seem to have been a permanent fixture around the club for decades, when and how did you first start playing at Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club?

A1: I first started playing at NCCC in the Under 12’s as a 10- year-old in 1992. My coach was Adam O’Connor.

Q2: What does the club mean to you?

A2: It means a great deal, I’ve been around the club now for 26 years. Have been lucky enough to play in three premierships and played with some great people who have taught me a lot.

Q3: How did you get the nickname Biggsy?

A3: American Pie the movie came out in 1999, I looked quite a bit like Jason Biggs, the star of the movie. As I recall Jason Muller coined the nickname and it’s stuck ever since.

Q4: 224 games, three centuries, three premierships, what has been the playing highlight for you?

A4: The two 2nd XI premierships are clear standouts. Incredible memories and lifelong bonds with those team mates. It’s hard to separate those two, however perhaps the first 2nd XI flag in 2005 was the most satisfying because we came from sixth, beat East Belmont twice and it was just the best feeling when we got the win. Russ and I still talk fondly of our bus ride home from Lara after
winning that flag. Magic!

Q5: What was it like opening the batting with Dan Lawrence for a season?

A5: Yeah very cool! I’d been pencilled in as 2nd XI captain but was playing OK so got to start in the Ones. I managed to make a few runs that year to keep my spot and got to watch him week in
week out. Just a gun player who could punish any bowler! Let’s hope he goes on to play for England.

Q6: You’ve served the club before – as treasurer – helping turn a loss 10 years ago into a profit-making year with $60,000 in the bank, which do you think will be the toughest job, treasurer or this new shared role of Chairman of Selectors?

A6: Hopefully a selector will be easier. The treasurer job was difficult as I really didn’t know what I was doing. Good to hear we did OK.

Q7: What can the playing group do to help you do the job of Co-Chairman of Selectors?

A7: As I understand it, my job is to ensure that the lines of communication are open always. We understand that today people lead busy lives and playing cricket every week is not always  possible. The most important thing is we know about it well in advance and can be prepared. We will be setting up a database of availability and making sure it is up to date. If you cannot play
certain weeks, let us know as early and easily as possible so we can plan and adjust teams accordingly.

Q8: Across the years, you’ve played with some pretty good cricketers, who is the best Two Blue you have seen?

A8: Tough question, as you say, I’ve played with some great cricketers. I’d have to say the best Two Blue I have seen is Ben Neville. They didn’t call him Freak for nothing!

Q9: You’re very much the family man these days, how long before we see a couple of young Bennett’s running around on Stinton Oval on a Friday night as part of Milo in2Cricket?

A9: Well our daughter is three, and our son is eight months so it’s probably a little while off, but I’ll get them down and hopefully they enjoy it as much as I have.

Q10: Your Russell Mitchell story, because everyone must have one?

A10: Have been fortunate enough to play in two premierships with Russ, both very memorable. I just loved his ability to get the best out of us all. You always felt confident when batting with him.
We shared an 80-odd run partnership in difficult conditions in a semi-final which was pivotal in getting us into the grand-final. He’s just a Two Blues legend and it is great I’ve been able to share some of those moments with him.

10 Questions with Ratts & Cam

Q1: James Ratcliffe and Cameron Russell, welcome back to Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club, you’ve never been far away, but tell us why this year you’ve chosen to play with the Two Blues again?

A1: (Cam and James): After a lengthy spell in the wilderness it now seems the perfect time to come home to the Two Blues. It’s easy to see that success is just around the corner with the young playing group starting to come into their own. Seeing as though we’re both on the wrong side of 30 we believe a couple more experienced old heads around the club could help with the development of some of the younger guys. Hopefully we can be a part of something memorable over the next couple of years.

Q2: When did you play your first games for Newtown and Chilwell?

A2: (Cam and James): We started playing in the under 12’s. With Greenie as our coach we learned a few new words that we were able to share around the schoolyard.

Q3: You came to the club as schoolboys then, what are you both up to now?

A3: (Cam): We’ve both done our time in Melbourne but are now back living and working in Geelong. Rat is running his dry-cleaning business/sweat shop and I’m working in the agriculture  industry.

Q4: James, you might be at least one up on Cam in the premiership department. No doubt you’d like to win one together now?

A4: (James): Yes, winning a flag for Newtown was a massive highlight. It is always good to have one up on Cam but obviously we’d love to win one together.

Q5: You’re both highly accomplished bowlers, but who claims to be the better batsmen?

Q5: (James and Cam): The jury is still out. We’ll let you know at the end of the season.

Q6: Queens Park is regarded as the best ground on which to play cricket in Geelong, the wicket, the outfield and the setting and following the recent renovations the downstairs facilities are first- class, in every sense, would you recommend what we have here to anyone thinking of joining Newtown and Chilwell?

Q6: (James and Cam): There’s no competition for the Two Blues when it comes to facilities and the club as a whole. The junior program is the most important aspect of any club and nobody does it as well as Newtown and Chilwell. The culture of the club and the people involved (on and off the field) are unrivalled. So yes, is the answer, with no hesitation.

Q7: You’re the closest of friends, when you see James you know Cam is not far away, and vice versa, what has made your friendship special over the years.

A7: (James and Cam): Yes, it’s been a hard tag to shake. We started at school together when we were sixyears-old so it’s all we’ve ever known. We’ve played cricket together ever since then so we’re looking forward to keeping that going.

Q8: You’ve both played across the grades, who are the special characters you’ve discovered about the place?

A8: (James and Cam): We’ve been fortunate enough to play with some champions of the club over a number of different grades. As teenagers coming through the ranks it was a treat to learn the craft from guys like Dev Royce, Russ Mitchell and Frank Tuskes. Also, we played juniors all those years ago with Yves “Shiv” Roussety who definitely deserves a mention!

Q9: Who is the best cricketer you’ve played alongside in your time at the club?

A9: (James and Cam): It’s hard to go past Ben Neville when it came to ability and leadership. On the field he could do the unimaginable and off field he was a massive help for us as youngsters. Hopefully someone will pop up this year and take the mantle as the best we’ve played with!

Q10: And now the big one, everyone has a Russell Mitchell story, what are yours?

A10: (James and Cam): We can’t stitch up the great man. Russ was huge for us when we started playing in the seniors. His booming voice and witty one-liners could be heard from all corners of Queens Park. It was always nice running in to bowl knowing he was standing in the slips and already well and truly in the head of batsman. Not only that, he had a great deal of faith in us and gave us the encouragement we needed as teenagers coming up against older/experienced opposition. Truly a great of the club!

10 Questions with Warwick (Our newest Life Member)

Q1: How did you discover Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club?

A1: In truth it discovered me when I moved in next to Graeme and Caz Chisholm. Caz told me if I played cricket I had to meet Graeme. He told me if I played cricket I had to play with Newtown. I am so glad I didn’t move in next door to Rocky Harris.

Q2: You ended up batting with Chisa in a 23-run, ninth wicket stand to win a grand final against Grovedale. How special was that?

A2: I was interviewed for the Geelong Business News magazine shortly after, a Q and A, and one of the questions was what were my favourite activities? I answered: dancing with my wife Alison (she’s a brilliant dancer) and batting with Graeme Chisholm, who may or not be a brilliant batsman, but he got us home that day, on one leg, and gave Grovedale yet another reason to hate him.  They didn’t need it.

Q3: Two separate hat-tricks in an afternoon.

A3: It was raining and cold out at Newcomb and my glasses had water on them, so I was having trouble seeing where to land the ball. As the rain stopped, I dried my glasses and Morgo said “I will give you one more over”. First hat-trick. Then Mark Anderson took a brilliant interception in the covers that made them seven-for. Morgo walked past and said it’s bloody freezing out here, take another hat-trick so we can go home. Three balls later we were heading to the warmth of Big Red. It made the Herald Sun.

Q4: Did you ever turn the ball?

A4: To quote the great Wilfred Rhodes, “if t’batsman thinks it’s turning, it’s turning”. In the Sixths the best bowling strategy is the aim at the five bits of wood one. They miss, you hit. A lot of people
have missed.

Q5: You were behind a number of initiatives at the club including the Merriman Medal, the Gooch/Insole Scholarship, the sightscreens, what’s your favourite achievement?

A5: Probably a bit controversial this one but working with the City of Greater Geelong to help find a new home for the Highland Gathering. I think both organisations have benefitted from the move, we got our ground in March so that we could host finals, the Highland Gathering was moved to a venue that better coped with their vast attendances. Queens Park was never suitable for the numbers they attract. I also have a soft spot for the Gooch/Insole Scholarship.

Q5: Why?

A5: I got to have come and live with me two young blokes who became firm friends. Jaik Mickleburgh went on to make his county debut after his year with us and had a good county career. Jonno Carpenter continues to make a good contribution to cricket in his part of the world. I thought Essex made a mistake when it let him go. He was a natural leader and would have become a very handy county allrounder. Our club has benefitted enormously from the scheme overall. The English lads are one of the reasons we aren’t in Second Division.

Q6: Who is the best player you have seen at Newtown and Chilwell?

A6. That’s hard to say. I might answer by saying who is the player or players I most like to watch. Like most of us, I always felt a sense of disappointment when Dan Lawrence got out because while he was out there, he was playing a different game to everyone else. The Clarks had the same je ne sais qua. Cooper Bingham has it about him, too. And has anyone ever seen a more insouciant batsman than John Simson? When you tell the wicket keeper he looks like the gardener because he’s wearing gloves, you have to score a century. He did.

Q7: During your time on committee, there have been as many down times as up times. What was the biggest challenge?

A7: The drought produced some tough challenges. Thankfully with the water tanks, the drought proof grass and so on, being forced to end a season early should never happen again. That
we got through those times and have one of the best club – plenty will argue the best – assets in the GCA is a credit to the resilience of our club leaders, our club generally, at the time. Player
exoduses cause headaches but they always bring us back to the path we should never leave … grow your own. George Chisholm is the perfect example of the rich wisdom in that. You can see it
about him already. He will be one of the great First Xl captains.

Q8: As a writer and broadcaster, you’ve covered cricket all over the world, England, South Africa, the West Indies and the sub-continent, who are the best players three or four players you
have seen?

A8: I got to watch Graham Pollock at 42 play an innings that would have done the 24-year-old Ricky Ponting proud, hitting Carl Rackemann with the new ball for four successive fours, all to
different parts of Newlands in Cape Town. For aesthetic purity, Mark Waugh is untouchable. I watched him farm the strike in a game at the SCG by running threes. That’s beyond mere class.
The best two bowlers? Malcolm Marshall and the two Keiths, Dennis Keith Lillee and Shane Keith Warne.

Q9: Your favourite Russell Mitchell story, because everyone has one.

A9: Easy, the Seconds final out at Lara, East Belmont’s bat is heading towards a half-century and Fleetie gives the ball to Ian Hastie to bowl his big inswingers. Up runs Battler from the slips cordon: “He’s falling out of crease, bowl him one down leg side first ball and Hadders will get him stumped”. After broader consultation, first bowl was thought too obvious. “Well do it fourth ball then,” Battler demanded. You know the rest.

Q10: What is the future for Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club?

A10: I am not sure if it is for me to say. I certainly believe that under Frank Tuskes we are on the path started by Neville and Morgo that will not just keep us in First Division but heading towards a First Xl premiership and a club championship. Our junior programs are working well. And the key word in everything is work, hard work. It is important that heavy workloads don’t fall to the few, but rather we attract a broad sweep of volunteers to carry us forward. The parents of our juniors are a great resource. I ask more of them to consider their children as not playing for “our” club but  playing for “their” club. In the not too far of world of Artificial Intelligence and Advance Robotics, people will have more time than ever before for leisure activities. We need to make sure that  crickets, and our club in particular, is there to provide the best and most timeless leisure activity ever invented – the game of cricket.

10 Questions with George

Q1: Your father is a life member of Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club, a club icon and general scallywag about the place, so you were part of the furniture early on: what is your first memory of the club?

A1: My earliest memory down at Queens Park was playing Milo Have A Go with my brother Tom. We would both have a lot of fun on a Friday night, running around making friends and developing
our cricket skills. I also remember running around the clubrooms before upstairs was renovated. A lot of Dad’s gold coins ended up in the pinball machine.

Q2: Your old man reckons whenever he comes to watch you bat, you get out. Have you got some advice for him?

A2: This is very true! I can always recognise Dad driving down in his white Territory. He would park himself behind the goals so he very easy to recognise. My advice to him would be park somewhere else or wait until I message him “I’m out”.

Q3: Run us through the premiership you won in Under 13’s.

A3: Growing up, I was very fortunate to play junior cricket under the team name Chisholm. Not only was I playing alongside my brother, but I was also coached by my Dad. We had a very good team with some amazing talent. I loved playing my junior cricket at Newtown and I felt very lucky that we managed to win a few premierships.

Q4: How many of those players are still at the club?

A4: Unfortunately, there is not a single player still playing from that team. Jamie Harrison is still playing very good cricket in Melbourne but apart from that the boys have moved on from their  cricket.

Q5: You know what it’s like to win premierships, both as a junior and senior player with the Second Xl a few years back, how far away are you from adding a First Xl premiership to your CV?

A5: The 2018/19 season will be my sixth season playing First XI cricket. In that time unfortunately, I have only played in two finals matches and have lost both. I believe in the past two years our First XI team has grown unbelievably strong and now with the likes of Will Simson, Tim Hosking, Cooper Bingham and Nick McGuane, all players 22 years old or younger who have now a few First XI seasons under their belt, I think a First XI premiership shouldn’t be too far away. Adding a First XI premiership to the CV would be a dream come true!

Q6: How far away is that first century?

A6: This is something I have asked myself for a very long time. Yes, it would be a great accomplishment and something I will never take for granted. I need to work hard on my game and be patient at the crease, and hopefully the day will come.

Q7: You made your First Xl debut as a wicket keeper. How hard has the transition been to batting all-rounder at the top of the order?

A7: I did make my First XI debut as a wicket keeper and I also think I batted at number 10. I did have a lot of faith in my ability as I liked to open the batting all through Junior cricket. I like the challenge at the top of the order and I hope I can contribute this year with some big scores.

Q8: What sort of captain do you see yourself being?

A8: Becoming captain of Newtown is a huge honour for me. I’m the type of guy who likes to have a lot of fun on the field and someone who is very approachable. I want my team members to feel comfortable around me, and as this is my first year as captain, I would also like them to help me become more comfortable in the captaincy role.

Q9: Apart from your father, who has been the biggest influence on you as a cricketer?

A9: Greg Hansen was my school cricket coach for the best part of four years. At the age of 15 I started training with him at the College and in year 12 we ended up winning the Premiership for the school. This is one of my cricketing highlights, and something I’ll never forget.

Q10: Everyone has a Russell Mitchell story, what’s yours?

A10: I was lucky enough to play with Russell as my captain in the 2012/13 seconds premiership. Russell praised me for my batting innings with Dev Royce as we put on a handy partnership in the middle order. I always notice Russell watching from a distance as I bat in the nets at training and he would always let me know what I could be doing to make myself a better batsman for the team. He is someone I look up to at the club and always have a great time listening to his stories on a Saturday night after a game down at Queens Park.