Overall a Successful Season
Overall the season was a success with results, selection and organisation improving over the Summer as more players became available on a regular basis. To even be competitive in the first half of the season with the teams we were able to put out was a major achievement.
Pre-season and nets worked well again with the Kingswood School facilities once more proving to be very adequate for our purposes. Numbers were down slightly on the previous year but once again there there were a couple of new faces and things ran well. Participation increased once we got up to Broadleys for evening practices in April.
Selection and Availabilities have again been problematic but as said above this did improve in the second half of the season.
The erratic nature of availabilities led us to only have 3 full teams after selection on 4 occasions during the season. As a club we are not alone in this issue and the days of players being able to commit to playing all season have passed. With most players only available for 50-60% of the games this led us to having to scrabble around to find bodies to fill the gaps after selection but barring one occasion in the 3rds we managed to field 11 players in every game. Thankfully I had fantastic support from the Captains and selection committee, especially Dicko, Rich and Threaders who always managed to find a player or five when we most needed them.
The Senior teams – Firstly many thanks to James, Will, Colin, Graham, Rob and Rich for their help as Captains last season. As stated previously the somewhat random nature of availabilities meant that (especially in May and June) all the teams changed markedly every week and the Captains did an amazing job of organising and coping with this issue and actually in many ways it made the games more fun with players able to move around the teams, meet new people and travel to new venues.
The Firsts were strong all season (if a bit erratic) and finished a creditable 3rd. The Seconds had a terrible start but recovered in the second half of the season after actually containing some 2nd team players!! to finish strongly and ended up in 4th place.
At the bottom of the food chain the poor old 3rds ranged from good on a couple of occasions to shocking on many others and slipped to one place above the relegation zone but fun was had by all.
With the improvement in our impressive young First team squad and the switch of the Thirds to the Stroud and District League an exciting 2016 season is in store.
Comrade Gary Hodder