Chairman’s AGM Report 2021
This concludes my first year as chair of the club. As everyone is aware, I took over in less than ideal circumstances due to the ill health of my predecessor Alan Waters. His deputies, Mike and Colin also stood down at the 2021 AGM which left a gaping hole in the management structure of the club going forward. I would like to thank these three gents for leaving the club in a very healthy position at the start of my tenure and would equally like to thanks Stephen and David for volunteering to step in and fill the vacant positions.
I will happily admit that over the last 12 months I have certainly made some mistakes in some of the decisions that have been made, or some of the ones that haven’t. The whole process is a continual learning curve for myself as well as Stephen and David. I had only maybe a dozen grey hairs in my beard 12 months ago, now look at it, you lot are to blame!
There are a lot of positives to report on however. The 1st X1 won a first D1 title in 40 years under the captaincy of Stuart Graham, aided by a consistent team and only our second overseas professional – Azim Kazi, who turned out to be quite a find. Anyone who watched the team this season will be able to testify what an exciting team they were to watch and they retained the Eric Topham Trophy for good measure.
The 2nd X1, lead jointly by Jonny Bradley and Ste Gray fared well throughout the season despite selection issues and will hopefully push on to greater things in 2022.
The Academicals struggled for results this season but under the leadership of Mark and Stephen, always played the game in the correct spirit and generally enjoyed their Sunday afternoons as they always seek to provide a platform to develop juniors and let some of the older gents still enjoy the game they love.
Our junior section is thriving at All Stars, Under 9 and Under 11 ages. Big thanks to Stuart, Mark, Ste G, Ste T, Gary, Greg, John, and everyone else who has helped out on coaching evenings and at games as well as Amy, Rachel, Sarah and Charlotte for keeping the kids in supply of pop, sweets and crisps. The future of the club would be nothing without the time and effort all of these people put in.
Off the field, there have been some major changes undertaken which are intended to make the club a more user friendly and welcoming space for all. We have installed a downstairs bar which makes things more accessible on match days as well as providing a terrace area beside this to allow a great viewing area on sunny days, something that has proven extremely popular in 2021. New lighting and TVs have been fitted into the upstairs bar, improvements made to the scorebox and lots of other general improvement works such as tidying up our permanent net facility. My thanks to everyone who got involved in these projects in any shape or form, your club is looking much better as a result, something backed up based on feedback from visiting players and officials.
We are even employing bar staff at the club now. A huge thanks to David and Lesley who have toiled away for years, it’s now time for them to be able to sit and enjoy the games in peace instead of being recalled to serve.
Our ground staff have done an excellent job of keeping our Blackfyne field in tip top shape, something that was echoed by delegates from the NEPL during their visit to our facilities. My thanks to Keith, Gordon, Geoff and Davey who continue to do an excellent job behind the scenes.
As was eluded to in the end of year accounts, we have had a record year for both bar takings and income. This is an impressive feat considering we didn’t serve our first pint until Saturday 17th April, albeit with some teething problems and licensing issues along the way. A big thank you to everyone who has supported the club from members, players, visitors, new supporters and sponsors. We wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the good work we are doing without your support.
Looking forward to the next 12 months now that I have been re-elected, we have already begun to put things in place to continue our development. The club will have an officially assigned Junior Development Officer – Stuart Graham, who will liaise with coaches and junior team managers to ensure our future stars are getting the very best of help going forward. We will field an Under 13 team this coming season and hopefully a girls junior side if all goes according to plan.
Ellis Moore, Ewan McCabe and Harry Davison will complete coaching courses during the winter to enable us to continue to provide excellent coaching opportunities going forward.
In terms of senior members, the 1st X1 have added the services of Chris Winn who joins from Leadgate as well as signing Afghan international Shahidullah Kamal for the 2022 season as we aim to push on from this season’s title win and look at possible promotion to the NEPL structure. New playing members are always welcome, surely many people should want to play for the current champions and who knows if any more new faces might arrive at Blackfyne for the 2022 season.
The 2nd X1 and Academicals will have new captains for the 2022 seasons. Andrew Ray will take charge of the 2nd X1 with Jack Marshall as vice-captain, while Harry Davison becomes Academicals skipper. Thanks to Jonny, Stephen and Mark who have been in charge in what have been less than ideal circumstances with all of the Covid restrictions in place and very best of luck to their successors.
A full list of those in senior positions at the club is as follows;
President – Gordon Hunter
Chairman – Ian Cox
Secretary – Stephen Horn
Treasurer – David Williamson
1st X1 Captain – Stuart Graham
1st X1 Vice-captain – Andy Stokoe
2nd X1 Captain – Andrew Ray
2nd X1 Vice-Captain – Jack Marshall
Academicals Captain – Harry Davison
Academicals Vice-Captain – Stephen Horn
Junior Development Officer – Stuart Graham
Fixtures Secretary – Ian Cox
Web Editors – David Williamson & Ian Cox
Ground Staff – Davey Graham, Geoff Graham, Gordon Hunter and Keith Horn
DPS (Licensee) – Ian Cox
Management Committee Members – Andrew Forster, Gary Hunter, John Chapman, Mark Dixon, David Wilkinson, Lesley Wilkinson, Stephen Gray, Daniel Pyke, Nathan Smith, Jonny Bradley and John Stokoe plus those in senior positions mentioned above.
The club would be lost without the volunteers we have and I really do appreciate all of you who are standing for re-election in your posts and warmly welcome the idea of some new faces who have applied to stand for posts for possibly the first time. We rely on people with different ideas and visions and would openly encourage new committee members at any time from differing backgrounds. Sometimes those from non cricketing backgrounds would see things plain as day that us cricket mad folk can’t see staring us right in the face! Anyone you can encourage to get involved or come and support the club going forward will always be welcomed and appreciated.
Keep an eye out for social events during the winter such as The Great Escape Christmas Bash on Friday 3rd December and An Evening of Comedy with Steffen Peddie on Saturday 5th February as well as popping into the club when the darts team are at home on designated Tuesday evenings.
After all, as has been said before – Ask not what can the club do for me, but what can I do for the club…