What a wonderful, enjoyable and successful season both on and off the field.
It was very satisfying to see players and spectators, young and old with smiles on their faces and social events attended enthusiastically by a full spectrum of members.
We have played well over 100 senior games this year, a large portion of this increase was down to the addition of a Saturday fifth team, huge thanks must go to Andy Hall for organizing fixtures and rallying players to fill the quotas needed, and thanks to those players (some press-ganged) who made themselves available.
Good and consistent availability was reflected in the club results throughout the season with the first, third and fourth teams all achieving promotion, the thirds and fourths as champions.
On Sundays we had a full allocation of fixtures split between league and friendlies. The league team finishing a creditable mid table in div 1, and the friendly side yet again playing through into October.
We ran colts teams at 3 age groups u11 pairs, u13 and u15. It was another fabulous season for our ever improving and excellent youngsters, the u13 joint winners of their league and the u15 undefeated League Champions. We are already seeing many these colts playing in the senior sides and making telling contributions, the future, as always is looking very promising. Of course, a massive thank you to Steve Wright for all his hard work as senior coach and colt’s manager, the team managers, Bobby Jasper, Robin East and Mike Boyden, not forgetting all the parents for their continued help and support.
Finally, regarding the playing side, we had a slightly different format to cricket week this year, which in part was successful but still showed up the frailties of trying to run daily midweek sides with a membership of young professionals. On the other hand, our rejuvenated tour saw over 30 young men travel to Rotherham to enjoy 3 days of cricket and joviality. Many thanks to Alex Lake for his hard work organizing an unruly bunch and producing an extremely successful tour.
Due to the changes in availability trends, the committee are recommending that the more established games from previous cricket weeks be played on Fridays during the regular season, cricket week as a format be abolished and tour to continue, at the moment, in its present form.
Socially we had three very well attended events and various colt’s socials. All our events were well supported and this helped in generating substantial income for the club. At the moment we seem to have found a successful formula and this is in large part due to the fantastic help from a wonderful and enthusiastic group of lady members, mums and wives. They have helped by using their networking abilities, bringing fresh ideas to the table and at times showing off some culinary skills. Our thanks go to you all, you know who you are. Massive thanks also to Brian Cantle in masterminding the preseason Awards Diner that was attended by 80 plus guests.
We must never rest on our achievements and social functions are a valuable income raiser for the club; as individuals by attending, you are helping financially, but just as importantly trying to give something back to Your Club. Clubs don’t run themselves, and attending functions is really a minimum requirement.
Financially we have also had a hugely successful season, and the balance sheet is much healthier. Membership, subs, match fees and functions income are significantly higher than previous years and have played a big part, but we must also thank those that have put work into finding outside sponsors, and the more regular 200 clubs and match/ball sponsorship.
So well done to Nick Worsley for securing sponsorship from the Crown & Pepper who we, in return, continue to support.
Many thanks to Howard for his industrious work, tirelessly chasing and pushing for membership of the 200 club and sponsorships. Much of this income is being derived from ex-players and areas outside of the club, my personal view is that this has many benefits and advantages, however, we are only looking for small donations and it is rather sad that there is so little take up within the senior and colts sections of the club.
So, this year we have had playing and social success. In addition we obtained a good quality roll on/roll off net cage with the help of a Clubs 4 Bromley grant and a donation from Mark Watson. Training and Colts coaching equipment came curtesy of Sainsbury’s vouchers. We also ran an indoor league team which is continuing this year, again under the guidance of Craig Westmacott.
The club is not perfect, but all those that volunteer do their best to make it run smoothly for the majority and should be congratulated. Of course, there are still a few that whine about selection or travel or cricket in general, however, I will continue to point out that all my volunteers work for the greater good of the club, the club is not about individuals, and all decisions are ultimately aimed at achieving a thriving organization.
Looking forward. Next year we are very hopeful of having the services of an overseas player as the first team look again towards promotion. We are in an investigative stage regarding options about relaying the square and we are looking at purchasing a 3000 litre water tank to help with watering the square. Regarding the square, this was again managed and kept superbly by Alex Guild and the club extends its gratitude to him for his fine work.
Our excellent relationship with LPSB continues as does our partnership with the Met Police and use of the Warren ground.
Finally, my thanks to all those that have helped and advised me in my first year as Chairman, special thanks to all my helpers, captains and committee members.
What a fantastic season we have had, long may it continue and I look forward to similar achievements next year.