Welcome to our first newsletter of 2017. First of all, I hope you have all wintered well, had a good Christmas and New Year and are in good spirits now that the weather is beginning to pick up. With that, the new season is almost upon us and I felt it a good time to update you on what is happening at Willey Wanderers Cricket Club in 2017.
Following the AGM in February, a number of changes were made on the Committee. Tim Cotton and Ian Slater were elected as Joint Vice-Chairmen, with Ian also filling the new role of Club Development Officer. Craig Jones continues as Secretary, likewise Stuart Sheperd as Treasurer. On the playing side, Nathan Garbett continues as 1st X1 Skipper with Linz Rudd as his Vice. All change in the 2nd X1 with Jon Duppa and Simon McCutcheon taking the reins. On Sundays, Chris Rudd continues as Skipper with Linz Rudd assisting. I’m sure we all wish both Saturday League teams as well as the Sunday (friendly) team a successful season.
So now onto updates on the projects I alluded to in my pre-Christmas letter to you all.
On the Junior Coaching front, we have signed up to the ECB ‘All Stars’ initiative which is aimed at 5-8 year olds. This is being headed up by Ian Slater with significant help from John Newton (Headmaster at Barrow 1618 School) and his staff. It is intended that this programme will take place between 3.30 and 4.30 on Wednesday afternoons as an extra-curricular school activity.
We are also looking to expand our own any-age/any-sex coaching activities on Sunday mornings between 10.30 and midday, so if any of you know of any youngsters interested in coming along as an introduction to the game, we certainly want to hear from you. To this end, our Coaching Staff has been increased with playing members Lee Jones, Shane Hatton and Ian Slater having successfully completed Coaching courses during the spring. Good luck to them on this significant venture this year!
I mentioned in December that we were looking to upgrade our covers and following our application for a grant from the Shropshire Cricket Board, I can happily announce that we have secured a 70% grant towards the cost of new covers. This is a great result for the fund raising team of Tim Cotton, Ian Slater, Rachel Turley-Salmons and Stuart Sheperd following their efforts over the winter. However, that still leaves a significant shortfall on the overall cost so they still have a bit to do yet and are actively seeking a ‘sponsor’ to have their company name/logo on the new covers in return for the balance! The new covers should be in place soon.
Whilst on the subject of sponsors and supporters, I think it only right to mention a few names, in particular Ryan Garbett at ‘Habitat Lettings’ in Broseley who has sponsored the scorebox over the next 2 years, and to Anne & Martin at The Duke of York for their post-match hospitality, Jaz at Broseley Fish Bar for their matchday donations, as well as James Hurdley (Edwin Davis & Son), John & Val Homer (Broseley News) and Dave Lloyd and Dave Oakley (Broseley Social Club) for all the support they have given us in various guises recently. You will see in the fixture card with this letter that we have expanded that somewhat to express our gratitude to these supporters. They can also be found on our website at ‘willeycc.com’. The fund raising Committee are also close to securing further sponsors and as and when they are confirmed, I will update you accordingly.
We also recently applied to the Shropshire Star for inclusion into a ‘Cash For Your Community’ initiative (some of you may have seen this in the paper) whereby the top 50 applicants get a share of a £20,000 prize fund. Fortunately, our application was one of those accepted (out of more than 150) and over the last few weeks, we have been frantically gathering the tokens printed daily. The response has been overwhelming and whilst I don’t have a final figure yet, I am pretty confident of us receiving quite a sizeable pay out on this venture. Whatever the result, I would like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed by collecting these tokens on our behalf. Reluctant as I am to single any individual out, I do think that Josh Ball (one of our junior members) should get a ‘special’ mention here. 13 year old Josh has a paper round delivering the Shropshire Star, and wrote a letter to all his customers asking them to collect the tokens for him. His final tally was close to 1000!!!!!! Well done Josh.
On your next visit to the ground at Barrow, you should notice one or two changes. Firstly, the container we use for storage has had a fresh lick of paint and now looks like part of the furniture instead of the eyesore it had become, as has the scorebox frontage. Secondly, the miniature conifers in front of the pavilion have gone which makes the pavvy look an awful lot better! And thirdly, for those of you who remember the pool by the gate, Selina from Willey Estates, has agreed to ‘clean’ out all the debris that has accumulated over the last 40 years or so, in an attempt to return it to its former glory and create an attractive water feature at the ground.
We have been allocated two more County age group games this year (listed in the fixture card). The Shropshire County Cricket Board were very keen to return to Willey because of both the wonderful setting for their matches, and also for the sumptuous refreshments we offer on the day.
On that note, I would like to finish by extending an invitation to all of you to come along to Barrow on match days to sample those refreshments. Jo and Lillian are most welcoming and they will certainly not disappoint you with their hospitality. We look forward to your continued support and seeing you at the ground sometime. We’re well worth the visit!