Season 2016/17 was a highly successful season for our club both on and off the field. We are laying the foundation for a very successful period for our club. There is much work to be done but we are heading in the right direction.
Along with the tremendous season for the Gordon Women’s Club, it was great to be supporting the Stags this season. Last season, I commented that although we had showed improvement from the previous season, we still had a way to go to be competitive with the top clubs.
This year we achieved this and finished 4th in the Club Championship and only 69 points from this year’s winners Northern Districts. Congratulations to our neighbors on their achievement, it was very well deserved. We are now able to have a realistic goal of winning the club championship over the next few years. During the season, five of our six grade sides made the qualifying finals and two of these teams, 4th Grade and Colts made the grand-final. Colts had a great victory by beating their arch rivals Penrith whom they had lost to twice during the season. Well done to Aaron Crofts, Jenny Williams and the team on winning the premiership. A season that you will remember for a long time.
Fourths also had a great season and whilst disappointed with the final result they should be proud of their efforts. First grade had a fantastic season, ably led by Steve Colley and were equal minor premiers. The team has developed into a strong and resilient group that work hard and enjoy playing their cricket together. We are really excited with their prospects over the coming seasons. It was also great to see Second Grade perform strongly this season and highlights our improved strength through the grades. A number of this team will push for first grade in the coming season. Fifths were minor premiers, unfortunately missing out after a comprehensive loss to eventual premiers Randwick Petersham. Whilst thirds did not make the semis they contributed strongly to our club championship aspirations especially post-Christmas.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our coaching staff Trevor Chappell and Mark O’Neill for their hard work and contributions to our performances last season. Trevor was rewarded with being named Coach of the Year at the SCA Awards Dinner in April. There were many outstanding individual performances during the season, of which I would like to specially mention a few as follows:
Elliot Richtor had a stellar season for Gordon scoring 787 runs at an average of 37.48 also taking 22 wickets at an average of 17.82. This resulted in Elliot being the joint O’Reilly Medalist for last season with our very own Mason Crane, as well as our joint Smartline Player of the Year along with Mason and Scott O’Brien. I am particularly thrilled for Ells as he epitomizes the pathway that Grade cricket provides. He came to Gordon as a 16-year- old to join our Academy and has worked through the grades to become the player he is today. It should give hope to all our young players and show that with hard work and dedication you can achieve your goal of playing top grade cricket.
Mason Crane was our English import from Hampshire and what an impact he had for our first-grade team. He took 51 wickets in 1st grade at an average of 21.06 also scored 300 runs at an average of 30. He also scored another 209 runs and 12 wickets in PG’s. He deservedly was joint winner of the O’Reilly Medal and Smartline Player of the Year with Elliot. His leg spin bowling was exceptional and for those that saw his 7 for 53 against Sydney were privileged to see an amazing bowling spell. He capped off the season being selected for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield to become the first overseas player since Imran Khan in the 1980’s to be selected for the Blues.
Scott O’Brien was selected as an opening bat in seconds last season and showed all that he is ready made for that role. Scott scored 633 runs at an average of 42.20 in second grade as well as taking 25 wickets at an average of 21.64 bowling his leg spin. Scott deservedly finished as a joint winner of the Smartline Player of the Year award. Scott is a great clubman and we look forward to his continued growth as a player next season.
Charlie Stobo although hampered by injury in the second half of the year, was selected to make his debut for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield. What a debut it was for Charlie taking 7 wickets against South Australia. We are looking forward to Charlie taking many more wickets for New South Wales over the coming seasons.
Stuart Bromley and Aaron Crofts, in their first year as grade captains did an outstanding job in guiding their teams into the grand finals of their grades.
Damon Livermore became only the third player of all time to reach the 10,000 run milestone for the club. Damon has been a tremendous servant to the club and although he has announced his retirement (we think!), who knows he may be back for the odd game to help us out.
As President of the club, I fully understand what is involved in running a grade cricket club. The amount of work involved and the commitment from our volunteers is immense.
I would like to especially thank the club’s executive for all their dedicated hard work this season and the support they have provided to me. To Peter Klemt, Michael Cant, Tony Middlebrook, Tim Cubbage, Geoff Keevers, Andrew Falk, Marshall Rosen & Paul Stephenson thank you for your contribution, also thanks to Jim Cattlin who continued as Secretary of the club.
To all our wonderful volunteers, your tireless work is so much appreciated and one of the key reasons this club functions as well as it does. Thank you so much for your support. The key areas of management, ground and match day management, secretarial responsibilities, selectors and cricket committee, financial and annual golf day organisers I would like to acknowledge all your contributions. Also thanks to our wonderful support base consisting of parents, past players and people just interested in supporting their local club. You are an important part of our club and we always appreciate your support.
Special mention should be made of the Selection Committee that has the hardest job in the club trying to select sides and keep everyone happy. Based on our results they have done a pretty good job. Thanks Mark Carmichael, Bob Thomas, Tony Wilson and Ed Howitt.
Also thanks to our Players Committee for their contribution, well done Tym Crawford, Dan Stickland & Aaron Crofts and also our Social Committee and particularly Anand Verma & Scott O’Brien.
I would like to acknowledge two volunteers who have advised they will be not available to assist next year. Firstly, to Dave Millar who has done a tremendous job with our Communications and in particular running our website, team app and twitter account. He has done a tremendous job and will be a hard man to replace. Thanks Dave for your great support of our club.
Secondly Tony Wilson has advised he will be stepping down from club committees after being involved with the club for the past twenty years as a volunteer. On behalf of everyone at the club, thanks mate for your immense contribution to the club. There is no doubt the work he does in the background will be sorely missed, he has a great passion for our club and it is this passion that makes everything he has done so special. By the way he will still be there supporting us next season.
Over the past two seasons we have placed a real emphasis on building our sponsorship base and this has been extremely successful. Last season was our first year in a three-year Platinum sponsorship with Beastwear. Aden, has been a great person to work with and there is no doubt in my mind that the clothing we had last year played a role in our success. If you look professional, you play that way. I am looking forward to continue growing our partnership over the next two seasons.
I would also like to thank all our Gold sponsors:
Savills Cordeau Marshall – Craig Marshall
Trendsetter Travel – Adrienne Witteman
Hickman & Ritchard Financial Planning – Shaun Trimnell-Ritchard
Riboni Constructions – Marshall Rosen
The Orchard Tavern – Myles Docker
Anthony Sherman Landscaping – Anthony & Natalie Sherman
Smartline Mortgage Advisers – Stuart Craig (new sponsor)
Insurance Advisernet – Peter Hankinson (new sponsor)
Kelly & Partners – Paula Booth (new sponsor)
A lot of these sponsors have helped us for a considerable time, and their support is one of the key reasons we can keep the club going as the performance expectations for grade cricket rise along with increasing financial challenges. We thank you and hope you will continue our association into the future. I encourage all of our members to utilize their services and ensure we support these businesses that are such great supporters of our club.
Thanks to Cricket Australia, Australian Cricketers Association, Cricket NSW, Sydney Cricket & our local councils, Willoughby & Ku-ring-gai for their support to our club.
I have been really pleased with the relationship we have enjoyed with the Women’s Club over the past two seasons. They have been an integral part of our club for over thirty years, and have really supported us this season by attending the Golf Day and Presentation Night. They have had a great season, winning the Club Championship, 1st Grade and T20 competitions. This was an exceptional performance. Thank you to Jessica Henry and all the members of the Women’s club.
I would also like to make special mention of our Junior club. The club continues to go from strength. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tony Wright and the committee for all your hard work and would like to stress that we are keen to continue to grow the relationship between the junior and senior sections of our club.
During the season we held two major events, our Annual Golf Day and Dinner and our club Presentation and Awards night. These were tremendously successful events for the club. The golf day is critical for us to raise funds to keep our club going financially as well as a great opportunity to join with our club sponsors, players and ex-players to share the stories and experiences of our great club. I would like to thank all who attended and contributed towards the financial success of the day. I would especially like to especially thank Adam Gilchrist and Tony Squires for donating their time to entertain us. I would also like to thank Paul Stephenson and the Golf Day committee for organising such a wonderful and successful day.
At the end of the season we held our Presentation and Awards Dinner at the Kirribilli Club. It again was a tremendously successful night and enjoyed by all who attended. Again, I would like to thank Peter and Virginia Klemt and the organising committee for their hard work in putting together such a successful evening.
Next season promises to be a great season for the club. If we can replicate and slightly improve our on-field performances, return to Chatswood Oval for training and continued off field focus we can definitely achieve what our Women’s Club has, the Club Championship.