Kevin Mahoney, chairman,
Old Actonians Cricket Club
It’s that time of the year again, as I sit in my comfy chair with my blanket and cup of soup looking out on the bleak winter landscape… the mind drifts off to the balmy days of summer and yes - Cricket!! While it seems like looking through the wrong end of the telescope, it’s soon going to be upon us. Having settled the date for the AGM for Sunday March 24, all thoughts and focus now need to be on the battles ahead: captains to be elected, grounds to be booked, working parties to be organised, Colts registration evening to be attended, all the organisation needed before a ball is bowled!
That being said we are in good health having come through last season relatively unscathed, and with Winter nets started we can be relatively relaxed. Having taken the decision to merge the ladies and men’s sections into one cohesive body we have begun to reap the rewards both on and off the field. New nets, paid for by very healthy contributions from the ECB and the Millennium youth trust have paved the way for the provision of excellent facilities for all. A big thank you is due to John Walker, Carlene Bender and Marilyn Smith for the contributions made behind the scenes for the launch and publicity for the opening of the nets and the first Old As Open Day. I know Carlene has plans to repeat and improve the event again this year so watch out for the flyers and posters.
As in previous seasons we are welcoming an overseas player coach in Cameron French. Cameron currently plays for Redlands and comes from a long line of player coaches from there in Trent, Ash and Adam, all of whom made fantastic contributions to Old As. Hopefully the traditional Old As welcome will not cause as much havoc to Cameron’s liver as it did to Glen’s - and that was on the first night!! Cameron is currently topping the batting at Redlands and long may his rich vein of form continue. Known as a ‘stato’, we will all be looking out for the Butterworth points weekly tally.
We will again be using Gunnersbury Drive as the main event and Swyncombe Avenue for the 3rds and 4ths. With a reorganisation of the leagues, every team this year has a full fixture list so the return of old faithfuls to the fold and the introduction of some new blood is going to be essential and we all need to think about who we know and who we can recruit. Having said that we have once again a great crop of youngsters making their way through the colts system to join the ranks of the men and big things will be expected of from the likes of Owen Brooks, Oscar Mayhew, and Thomas Whear to name but a few - all of whom performed well last season. As with the men the backbone of the ladies will be the likes of Katy and Lucy Davies, Emine Oktay and Sarah Baigent, and the progress they made last season was spectacular and long may it continue.