President's welcome message to season 2018-19
To all Gordon Players, Volunteers & Supporters, I would like to welcome you to the 2018/19 season for the Gordon Stags. The President’s Message is something I implemented when I first became President three years ago, however I let it slip last season as the pressures of leading the club, running my own business and managing my family life made the decision, in my view, understandable. However, I think it is important that I regularly communicate to you as the season unfolds. I will commit to do this, this season.
Season 2018/19 is a season of high hopes on the field, with some very strong teams announced for the first game and a strong coaching line-up that has led the players through a comprehensive pre-season program. Off the field, as usual we have many challenges, however we work hard in addressing these challenges and hopefully continue to focus on Gordon Cricket’s future as a sustainable premier cricket club and continue the great traditions that have been laid by past players and administrators.
I would like to especially welcome our new players to the club this season. We hope your time at our club is enjoyable and it is the start of a long association with our club. It is also great to have our English imports over playing for us this season. A lot of our players have had wonderful opportunities to go over to England and play for local clubs, so to be able to also provide an opportunity for young English players to come and play in one of the stronger global cricket competitions is, in my opinion, something we should always embrace.
Axel in action against Bankstown
One of the key goals of our club is to develop our local talent and give them an opportunity to potentially develop in to 1st class cricketers. We have also made a strategic decision to try and encourage some very talented young country players to join our club. With tremendous work from Bob Thomas we have opened up this area and we are now seeing a lot of good young country players join our club. I ask that all members embrace this strategy, in what we believe will make a stronger club. Additional competition amongst our players should allow us to perform strongly and meet our performance goals.
Our performances in Round 1 were mixed with three wins and three losses. Congratulations to 3rds, 5ths and Colts on their victories. A special mention to Axel Cahlin who started where he left off last year with a century in the first round. Axel continues to push for further representative honours and we look forward to watching his future development.
Also a special mention to one of our new recruits Ashwin Premkumar for his five wicket haul in his first game for our club in 2nd grade. Well done Ashwin and hopefully the first of many for the club. Also in his maiden game for the club young Green Shield player Rohan Watson took 5 wickets in Colts bowling his well flighted and accurate leg spinners.
It was great to see 5ths and Colts having such comprehensive wins. These teams, and indeed, some of our higher grade teams are full of good young cricketers that are either part of our Green Shield squad this season or have played over the past few seasons. This augers well, for the club’s future as these players come through the grades and challenge for higher grade honours.
Over the past 12 months with a lot of help from our Director for Strategy and Development, Vaughn Richtor, we have developed a strategic plan for the future of our club. We have now commenced implementation of this plan. Some of the goals will take a long time to achieve, especially in relation to ground improvement and more practice facilities, however we will continue to invest the time and effort to get improvements in these important areas. We need assistance from Cricket NSW and our local councils to achieve these goals.
One of the key strategies has been the development of a series of values that should be associated with our club. One of the key values is respect and this is so important for all members and supporters of the club. It is absolutely critical that we all respect each other. It is important that all members understand and abide by these values if we are to continue to develop our club. The club values and strategies will shortly be available on the club website.
One of the key challenges for our club over the next 12 months is to continue to grow our volunteer base. We have some amazingly dedicated volunteers, however I worry about the pressure we put on these people in a role they do out of their love for cricket and our club. The other key challenge is our finances, it takes a lot of money these days to run a grade cricket club. Our playing fees do not go close to covering the costs of running the club. We therefore are reliant on grants and support from Cricket Australia and Cricket NSW, support from our wonderful sponsors who in a lot of cases have supported us for a long time and some very intensive fund raising events primarily being our annual golf day and dinner. It is important that we keep expanding these potential income sources to help ensure our club remains financially viable in the future.
You will hear more about initiatives in these areas over the coming months. I’m looking forward to October as the warmer weather hits, a little rain to help the grounds grow, some drought breaking rain in the country and some great cricket to be played by the Stags.