Fantastic Season for the Youths!
By any stretch of the imagination this has been a fantastically successful season for the Junior section. We have had 166 Youth Registrations, up almost a third on the previous season. Growth has been particularly strong at U9s and in the Girl’s section.
MARSHFIELD CC YOUTH REGISTRATIONS BY YEAR 2013-2016
There have been approaching 100 children at Broadleys on our busiest Friday training evenings, with an average of around 70-75. We have been able to give the vast majority of our young cricketers competitive cricket in Leagues and Festivals.
I believe we now have 7 talented County representative cricketers selected for Wiltshire or Gloucestershire, four of these from amongst the Girls’ ranks. Congratulations to all involved.
The Girls section continues to go from strength to strength - the U11s have had notable victories at softball and the U13s had a P4 W2 L2 record in the Gloucestershire U13 Hardball League. In addition, they have played many friendly fixtures. Manager Steve Morris says that they aim to come back even stronger next season, determined to beat their nemesis, Frenchay CC. The Girls also enjoyed a trip to the England Womens’ ODI at the County Ground, Bristol.
The U13s Boys finished with a very creditable W4 L3 record in the Bath & District League, where the U11s performed excellently - the two teams, Maroon (W6 L2) and Gold (W5 L3) finishing in 2nd and 4th place respectively. The U9s have competed in Festivals around Wiltshire, winning 16 of 21 games played, giving competitive cricket to 35+ boys and having lots of fun along the way!
A Note of Caution
The only note of caution in this catalogue of successes is that, once again, we have been unable to field teams at U15 and U17 level. However, I am convinced that the lack of numbers in the teenage years is, in large part, a natural cycle, and that their time will come again. I know that those taking the Youth Section forward are aware of the problem and have strategies to retain and develop players into their later teenage years. There is an outside chance we may be able to run an U15 side next season, possibly by combining with another Club.
A Plan for The Future
With our increasing size comes the need to work out how to manage and sustain this growth into the future, so it has been particularly welcome and timely that Robin Hand has started the process of reviewing the structure of the Youth section and proposing a draft Plan for the future. We all look forward to fruitful discussions on this in the coming few months and I’m sure that the final document will be useful on many levels, both internally and in our dealings with County boards/ECB/potential Funders.
The Key to Success
We should never forget that the major driving force in our success in recent years has been our outstanding, enthusiastic, hard-working and fun-loving Coaches, Supervisors and Helpers. We should all thank them for their efforts and realise that they are key to a successful future.
Finally, I’d like to reiterate that I personally feel the need to take a step back from overseeing the Youth Section to concentrate on my other roles within the Club and so I am stepping down as Youth Secretary with immediate effect. I am however willing to provide administrative support to the new post-holder by maintaining the Youth database and assisting with registrations etc., if required, and help establish the new rota that will be necessary to run Friday evenings.