The season overall went well with results, selection and team organisation generally being accepted as an improvement on the previous season. There are of course still things that can be improved on and issues to be resolved for 2015.
The net sessions organised for Wednesday nights at Kingswood school in pre-season were a great success with at least 20 players attending each evening (35 attended at least half of the sessions) with a good mix of abilities and several new faces. The facilities are ideal for out purpose and we are left alone to run the session as we would like. Many thanks to Ben for arranging these and I believe we are just about to confirm the same venue for the coming season.
Many thanks to Dicko and Redrum for all of the work put into the website. The constant update of game info, results and stats etc is of great benefit to me and the players. We were able to use the website in conjunction with text and phone calls to improve the speed at which we could let players know of team changes or game cancellations.
We also introduced an automatic email availability form that has proved successful in aiding the availability process, although not all players respond (expected) and we continue to use this form alongside Captains taking availabilities at the end of games for selection.
Selection and Availabilities
Availabilities have proved to be erratic during the season and therefore at times problematic. We had over 60 playing members signed up but on only 2 occasions during the season did we have “full” teams after selection on a Tuesday evening. As a club/sport we are not alone with this problem and the days of players being able to commit to playing all season long have passed. With most players only being available for 50-60% of the games selection became more of filling in spots with who we had and then scrabbling around for 2,3,4 or sometimes more players for the weekend.
Thankfully I had fantastic support from the Captains and selection committee, especially Dicko, Rich Guy and Threaders and we always seemed to manage to find players from somewhere.
This obviously had an effect on the make up and quality of our teams. I believe this to be an ongoing issue and will only be improved with the recruitment of more numbers on the playing side.
Firstly many thanks to Dan, James, Wayne, Dicko and Rich Guy for their help as Captains last season. As stated above the somewhat random nature of availabilities led to us fielding different personnel in each team weekly but despite this the teams all competed extremely well and 3rd and 2nd place finishes for the Firsts and Seconds was a great accomplishment by all concerned. The Thirds were also competitive all season despite at times being made up by a majority on non-cricketers and willing volunteers.
Overall I feel we are in good shape with our Saturday teams and well poised to achieve a promotion or two on the field next season.
The Sunday team has proved to be the most difficult issue of last season. Firstly though I would like to thank the “hard core” of young players who have turned up every week to play and enable the team to full fill its fixtures.
We do however have an issue with senior players in the club being unable/unwilling to play Sunday cricket. This is a problem we are going to have to tackle as a club if the Sunday team is going to continue. We are currently trying very hard to recruit a senior and experienced player to take over the Captaincy and to organise and lead the team (with the hope that this will encourage/coax others) but as of yet we have been unsuccessful. Without such a person I fear another season of very low availabilities and the possibility of not fulfilling fixtures.
All advice on this issue greatly received.
Finally many thanks to all at the club who have supported me in my role as Cricket Manager during the past year.