The GDCC held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 30th July and was well attended by club players and supporters who included both the Majors of Willoughby and Ku-ring-gai who accepted their continuing roles as Patrons of the Club along with Ian Carroll.
The incoming President Geoff Hickman accepted his new role with the following address.
President’s Acceptance Speech – 30th July 2015
It is with great honour I accept the club’s nomination of President of Gordon District Cricket Club. The club has a great history that spans 110 seasons and crosses two world wars, wars that our club has had an intimate association with through our players and their sacrifices during these periods. This association has been impressively brought to us over the past ten years by the work done by Paul Stephenson. This was highlighted in March this year when our club hosted a “United We Stand” Ceremony at Chatswood Oval for the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli in World War One and the role our members played in that war.
This is a history that should never be forgotten, and we the current generation of administrators and players owe it to all the club’s past members to keep this great club strong and vibrant as we face the challenges that confront us now and into the future.
I have noted that I will be the 15th President of the club over this 110 year period, an amazing statistic that further highlights to me the great responsibility I have taken on. For those who know me well, you will know that I will always do the very best I can for the club and will hopefully lead a team of players, administrators and friends of the club to continue the great work done by the people before me. I will always strive to continue the development of the club, through leadership, co-operation and hard work.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing President Andrew Falk for the work he has undertaken over the past 15 years, seven years as Secretary and the past eight as President. He has led the club admirably in a period where we have had considerable on-field success, a stable financial position and administrative strength. Also I would like to thank Jim Cattlin, Falky’s right hand man who has supported him over the past eight years and has been the key person within the “engine room” ensuring we get on the field every weekend. I am pleased to advise that whilst both will be stepping down they will still be involved in the running of the club. Andrew will lead our Administration team as well as remaining the delegate to the Sydney Cricket Association, where he also holds the position of Chairman. Jim will retain his role as Secretary in a much reduced role.
At the completion of last season, we held a Strategy Day to map out the directions that our club needs to take over the next three to five years to achieve our agreed goal “to be Sydney’s premier grade cricket club renowned for positive culture and spirit of camaraderie, competitive player performance and development (tough respected competitor that never gives up), excellent grounds and facilities and active community involvement.
One of the key factors in order to position our club to achieve these goals was to put a structure in place that would ensure we have focus in key areas. Whilst we never appear to have a problem with players wanting to play for our club, we do not have enough “volunteers” to manage the increasing responsibilities involved in running a grade cricket club. It is critical to increase our “volunteer” base and spread the load so that those loyal volunteers stay invigorated and enthusiastic in their roles.
I am proud to say we now have put in place a quality executive team that will ensure focus in the key areas. I am looking forward to working with them and all the other club volunteers and players to implement the strategies that have been developed. The team is:
- Andrew Falk – Administration
- Marshall Rosen – Senior Vice President and mentor
- Michael Cant – Cricket
- Geoff Keevers – Finance
- Sean McElduff – Facilities
- Peter Klemt – Commercial
- Tony Middlebrook – Operations
- Paul Stephenson – Communications
This team has been working very hard over the past four months and some of the achievements to date follow. I would like to acknowledge that some of these were put in place by our outgoing committee:
- Finalisation of our club coaching team for 2015/16 following the retirement of Ed Howitt. We are very excited and pleased that Trevor Chappell has come on board as our Head Coach and with our existing specialist coaches will provide a fountain of knowledge and experience for our young playing group.
- Recruitment of Will Smith as our “senior” professional player for the coming season replacing Harry Evans who we all hope will go onto play 1st class cricket in Australia this coming season.
- Finalisation and installation of a new net practice system for Chatswood Oval, which will benefit both the men’s and women’s club next season. This has been partially funded from a grant by McDonalds through Cricket NSW which we are very grateful for.
- Finalisation and installation of an electronic scoreboard at Chatswood Oval, thanks primarily to a grant from the Department of Family and Community Services (NSW Government)
- Appointment of our new club captain Tym Crawford for the coming season and also appointment of a players committee to ensure better communications between players and administrators and also the Women’s club.
- The ongoing development of the newly formed Gordon Cricket Academy, who will continue to grow this season and also take on responsibility for our “entry” point In2Cricket program.
- Active recruitment of “volunteers”, who have put up their hand to help this season in the various functions of running our club. Much thanks to Tony Wilson for driving this initiative.
My key goal is to help the club achieve the goals we set ourselves in April, work closely with our affiliates and stakeholders, the Junior Club, the Women’s Club, Willoughby & Ku-ring-gai Councils, Sydney Cricket Association and Cricket NSW to build our relationships and support of each other.
As a club we have a proud history, strong junior development squads, a group of committed players who have talent and the ability to take our club to the next level. By working together we can achieve all the goals we have set ourselves. I look forward to the challenges ahead.