When people can shamelessly put-up Xmas trees in November, I feel totally at ease wishing you all the most festive of season’s greetings at this early point in time.
First off, I’d like to thank our sponsors Formulated Polymer Products for their continued support as main club sponsors and Grace Overseas for sponsoring the Academy and Ladies teams. Clubs like ours are heavily dependent on such support and we hope that we have represented their brands well this past year.
2022 has been a great year for the club – we brought home silverware with the Women’s first team winning the 40 overs League, the Worsley Cup adventures of the Men’s 1st team and the Under 13s and 19’s ladies exploits in the national T20 competition.
Behind the headlines though, there has continued to be real progress at the club.
We’ve completed our first year of the pathway development programme and the feedback from Phil Heaton on all the players have been extremely positive. The pathway has our complete focus as a club as the means to build strong teams that will be in position to compete at a high level over the next decade. We want to instil in our youngsters what it means to represent Ramsbottom Cricket Club, how they can contribute to our success and become part of our rich history.
The Pathway works in tandem with the great work that Phil Croft and the Academy committee and coaches continue to do with our juniors. We strive to provide the best environment for them to play, enjoy and learn their cricket. Cricket, in many ways, is a great supplement to our junior’s formal education. “It’s not cricket” is a well-worn phrase but I know that our coaches strive to ensure that that win or lose we play the game in the correct way and the right spirit.
I rarely attend away matches but when I do it only reinforces my view that we have the best ground in the league. The pitch was simply magnificent this year and the number of runs scored on the wicket is testament to the great work put in by Roger, Phil and new recruit Chris over the season. The wicket has now been put to bed for the winter, but such is the quality of care placed on it I am confident that we could actually play matches on it now.
August’s Worsley Cup Final encapsulated everything that is unique about our club. The preparation was meticulous. The wicket was superb and this was reflected in the comments of both teams, the umpires and the league executive. The ground was set up immaculately thanks to the many volunteers who came down to paint walls, clear the weeds, strip down trees, paint picnic benches and put-up gazebos. We did well both on and off the pitch on that day and whilst heroes were made on the square, there were many more who helped make the day the perfect occasion that it was – thank you!
This is only a short note, I will have the chance to bore you to tears in my pre-season message, but I am grateful to have this opportunity to thank all our players, sponsors, members and committee for their continued hard work and support and, finally, wish you and yours the best for the looming festive season.