President’s Report 2018-19
Somerville Cricket Club was rocked when one of our greatest supporters, Secretary and Life Member in Rod Greenway suddenly passed away just prior to the commencement of the season. Contributors of Rod’s stature are hard to come by and as a club we had to gather our thoughts, support his family and press ahead.
The highlight of the season just concluded was the magnificent victory by our 2nd 11 in the Grand Final against Long Island to give our club back to back successes. Coming from fourth position on the ladder, first of all we had to defeat Moorooduc who had only lost one game for the season and that earned us the right to take on the experienced Long Island outfit on their own turf.
This was an outstanding victory for our club. The age profile for us with an eye on the future was ideal, with five talented players in the 15-17 year age bracket, (Charlie Dixon, Bailey Bakker, Aiden Finn, Ryan McNamara and Zac Becher) Niall Young 22, Lachie McGenniss 24, Jarryd Lymer 25, Matt Eager 27 and an experienced core group of senior players Chris Langendorf, Adrian Ridout and Captain Ross Duggan.
As always, the playing side of things is only part of the equation, with a large crowd of supporters decked out in blue and gold representing our club during both finals.
Our club was also represented in the Semi Final by our 4ths who had a very successful season under the leadership of Life Member Derek Bignell. Once again, we had a healthy balance of experience and emerging young players and a strong sense of teamwork was evident as the season progressed. With a number of key players unavailable for a variety of reasons, we fell short of the mark against an experienced Mt Eliza combination.
Our 1’s had an absolute roller coaster of a season, moving from 7th to 5th to 4th and then to 7th after losing the final game to Grand Finalist Main Ridge. Losing 4 games by less than 30 runs hurt us big time and ultimately cost us a tilt at the finals. The inclusion of Luke Rowe and Jack Barbour showed their importance to us moving forward and as mentioned we have a cohort of talented young players who will continue to work in with our senior players to give us optimism for the future.
Under Lachie McGenniss, our 3rds looked really strong for the majority of the season, however promotions and unavailability impacted on their personnel. Lachie was faultless as Captain and led by example on and off the field.
Our 5ths had quite a tough season in terms of wins, however the silver lining for our club moving forward was the opportunity for some of our juniors to get a taste of senior cricket and in some cases achieve their first run, wicket or catch. A number of our senior players sacrificed their own game to facilitate the development of their young team mates.
As a club, I believe that we have continued to focus on and build a sustainable platform for future success. I am excited to announce that in 2019-20 and beyond that we will be setting up a coaching academy where emerging players will receive specific coaching to fast track their development. Club legend Craig Black will lead the program in conjunction with our coach and volunteer players, with Peter Young operating as Junior/Senior Transition Co-ordinator .
In my 8th year as President, every season has presented its challenges and to work with such a dedicated team of loyal Somerville patriots is the motivation to keep aiming for success on and off the field. Our Committee consisting of Dekka, (Vice President and Secretary) Triff, (VP) Trev, (Treasurer) Greg, Youngy, Benno, Duggo, Bech, Duane and Lindles has been brilliant and a major reason why we are one of the most respected clubs in the competition. In addition, loyal supporters have rallied to the cause and assisted us at every step. Geoff, Billy. Mel & Rothers (bar) Al, (scoring) Coxy, (vote count & memorabilia wall) Spence, (50+ Bald Eagles) Triff, (web site manager) Dekka, (newsletter publisher) Jock & Atters (Thursday night meals) and my son Brenton (fantastic job with team selection & co-ordinating training on Tuesday nights) are Somerville through and through and have made a difficult job much easier. And of course we have our magnificent ladies group who continue to selflessly volunteer their time and skills in a variety of ways. The afternoon teas are the envy of the competition and how lucky are we to front up at home games and experience this? Ali, Lorraine, Sandy, Jules, Robyn, Jo, and Jody you are sensational and many thanks to you all. (and plenty of others who chip in)
Thank you also to our Junior Co-ordinator in Peter Young and the extensive group of players/parents who continue to be a massive asset to our club going forward. Our club is only as strong as the juniors coming through. The connection that the Seniors and Juniors have continues to grow and flourish and no better example can be made than to see the number of senior players having an encouraging word, offering a coaching tip or two or being there in numbers come finals time. Of course, with the junior players comes their parents and friends who will form the next generation of our club. No better examples of this than the Milo Cricket program and the continued development of our girls cricket team which has been a resounding success.
On the social scene, our priorities have been to find a balance to structure activities and events that would increase our fund raising capacity and of course give people connected to our club the opportunity to share in each other’s company. Going back to October we had our season launch with the annual casserole night, first Bald Eagles function – great work Spence – the Greg Champion luncheon, (115 attended) Past Players Day, Christmas break up, (great to see The Nest full of kids) Reverse Draw, Bald Eagles luncheons x 2, Games Night, Club break up, Player vote count and Presentation Night. I am pleased to say that targeted functions were a financial success and we were happy to part fund several functions to enhance our connection between club and community, including kitchen renovations.
Talking about community, our club has been fortunate enough to generate and maintain a very high level of support from our business partners. In exchange for packages including signage, newsletter, web site, calendar, membership card and business promotions, we have been able to invest in facilities and player development programs. I encourage you to refer to our club web site or newsletter and give our business partners every chance to compete for your business and don’t forget to mention our club. We have a great relationship with over 30 business partners and I thank each and every one of you for continuing to work with us.
As a club we have so many assets both on and off the field. To experience the success that we want it is vital that we all pull together and work for the benefit of each other.
Finally, thank you to every one who contributed to our club this season and a special thanks to my partner Julie. I promised 2 years and now it’s 8!