Well, after what seems an age, the 2018 season is fast approaching and once again I am thinking about what to write. May I firstly welcome all our members for another year of cricket at Spalding Town Cricket Club, whether it is in a playing capacity, past club member, supporting role (of which there are many of you), and our many parents, guardians and grandparents – all of you help to make the club operate as a whole.
I would like to pay thanks to Heath Ripley whom stepped down as President at the end of 2017. Heath has been a staunch supporter of Spalding Town Cricket Club over many years and has held many positions within the club, secretary, chairman, culminating in serving as our President. I would suggest that his most notable achievement was in making his Premier League debut last season, no mean feat going fine leg to fine leg at his tender years! We welcome back Russell Whitworth to the club as Honorary President, whom is more than capable of filling the large boots left behind by Heath.
Rob Ambrose our 1st Team Captain has also decided to hand over the reins after 6 years in the position. Rob has achieved some great things during this time, twice leading us up into the Lincolnshire Premier League, no mean feat for a club such as ours. It is not only his work on the field that we have to thank him for, but also for his tireless efforts behind the scenes helping in any way he can, he remains at the club as a player for 2018.
The first team captaincy baton has been handed over to Josh Newton, whom I am sure will prove and inspired successor, and a good mentor for the junior members looking to break into the first team this season.
Josh will be ably supported by our 2nd and 3rd team captains, Matt Gill and Carl Andrews, respectively. Both will have players aiming to get themselves promoted to the teams above, this should provide the club with a real competitive edge and pride in wearing the club badge.
2017 was for many reasons a tough season, mainly due to the unavailability of players at critical points during the season, hopefully an issue that we won’t suffer from in 2018! The ladies had to quote our Monarch an “annus horribilis” too many fixture cancellations lead to them only playing one competitive fixture, something Hayley and her team will not wish to suffer a repeat of in 2018.
There were plus points too, most notably the Sunday side gaining promotion from Rutland League Division 4 East, by comfortably topping the table with a 100% win record, we look forward to their progress in 2018. The U13’s narrowly losing in the final of the County Cup after a fantastic run of victories to reach it, along with some great results from all the other junior age groups. Well done Mark Laud and his team of coaches whom have once again given selflessly of their time for the benefit of our junior members, we shall look out for the impact that some may now make in the senior ranks this season. Good luck again to those boys and girls that have worked hard to get into their respective County and regional age groups for 2018; we shall follow your progress with interest and pride.
We could not continue to run as a club without the support of our many sponsors, we must not rest on our laurels, but look to bolster their support ourselves not come to rely on it! The committee will be looking to put in place social events throughout the season and your support of these events would be greatly appreciated. Please follow us on social media or via the clubs website diary for events during the season ahead. Amongst those that help us as a club we should of course mention Lincolnshire County Cricket with whom we have built a good relationship over recent years.
Lastly it goes without saying that I could not operate as your Chairman without the support of not only my committee, but everyone within the club family. I wish all of our teams the best of luck for the 2018 season, let us make this a great year for Spalding Town Cricket Club, both on and off the field.
As ever remember to play hard, play fair but to most of all play with a smile upon your face.
I look forward to catching up with you all around the boundary in 2018.