As we enter May the 2017 cricket season is nearly upon us!
I would like to welcome you all to the new season and share my priorities for the year ahead. Before doing this however, I’d like to thank everyone for a successful pre-season at Maplesden Noakes School. It’s been fantastic to see such a strong turnout, particularly from the U16 players, many of whom will be representing the Saturday league team this year. We also have several new adult players along and fitting in well which bodes well for the season ahead. I want us to build upon this by starting weekly outdoor nets from Thursday 11th May (6.30-8.00pm) onwards. This will be open to both junior and adult members giving everyone the opportunity to get some much-needed practice in before the weekend’s cricket.
The season marks a new beginning for Hollingbourne CC as we join the Kent County Village League. This decision was made with the aim of finding local opposition with a more suitable standard of cricket for the Club’s present position. In my opinion, this will provide an ideal opportunity for junior players to make the transition to adult cricket, my first priority for the season ahead. Thanks to the hard work of Dave Charlton and other HCC coaches we are extremely fortunate to have a number of talented U16 players ready to step up to this challenge. I look forward to welcoming them into the team this year and watching them perform with both bat and ball!
My second priority for the season ahead is to build on the social side of the club. This started off extremely well with the recent pre-season curry night (even though you drank coke and had a korma Skip? – Ed). My intention is to hold regular match day barbecues and social events throughout the season, starting with an afternoon’s paintballing on Sunday 11th June. We also have a ‘6-a-side’ fundraising tournament scheduled for Sunday 28th August. I would urge every HCC member to participate in as many social events as possible this year. This goes a long way to creating the strong team spirit needed for a successful season.
As captain, I intend to lead the team for everyone to enjoy playing the game. Winning is a major part of that enjoyment and we will play hard to achieve this but this will not be at all costs. Over recent seasons, we have often played with verbal abuse ringing in our ears. ‘Banter’ is now part of the game but on occasions, this goes too far. Friendly comment can sometimes be acceptable; personal abuse is never acceptable. I want everyone to play the game in the right spirit and to respect opposition players. We are not ‘win at all costs’ professionals. Play to the best of your ability, but play fairly and leave the ground at the end of the match hopefully having met 11 other players from the opposition you can enjoy a beer with afterward and look forward to the return game later in the season.
Lastly, I want to make a commitment to all of you that I will perform the duties of a club captain will utmost responsibility. I promise you that we will have fun both during the games and social events, so I ask you all to come with an open mind and your best sense of humour and just enjoy the company of your teammates and other HCC members.
(Club Captain – Hollingbourne Cricket Club)