Updated: Mar 6
Another year gone, another step forward for the club and for those who were unable to attend the AGM last Friday, here is a quick run through of what was said, discussed and decided.
Mike Charman began by dissecting the club’s finances. We won’t go into detail here except to say, there are no concerns. If you want a copy of the balance sheet, you can request one.
Chairman Stephen Hodgson followed by summarising that 2019 was another good year for the club, in particular the youth section again which was extremely successful and again, heavily invested into. It is his belief that the club is beginning to be recognised now amongst other clubs in Sussex as a model to follow and to aspire to.
The junior section continues to flourish with as many as 32 kids in the county set-up now. The U10s won their league, U12s won their SJCF week and of course the U14s triumphed at Hove in the Champions League of cricket. All in it’s very positive.
The senior section had mixed fortunes on the field and was more of a challenge but off the field we are in a healthy place and Stephen thanked the captains and the selection committee led by Will Hasler for his efforts. The womens team in particular was a real positive for 2019. Phil Abbott has resigned from his role as Sunday XI captain and Stephen thanked him for his efforts.
Outside of cricket, things continue to progress nicely. The village fete was a big success in many ways. The opening event at Thakeham was received very well and again, thank you to those involved in both events. The residents and members alike were particularly glowing in their support at the Thakeham opening party. The annual dinner was the biggest and best for some years and tour was a great addition to the calendar, despite the weather! Bank holiday was as fantastic as ever, long may that continue! Next year the Tim Monday memorial match will be held at Wisborough Green and we all look forward to visiting Wizzy Green.
Elsewhere, All Stars Cricket was another success with thanks to Ellie, Matt and James for running the course this year. The club also hosted schools Sunday with a number of schools getting involved with 60/70 kids attending on the day and having great fun. It’s another fantastic community initiative that we’re proud of and we hope it will continue to be supported by the local schools. Our thanks to Jo Alcott for her work here.
Looking forward to 2020, Stephen made it clear we must not rest on our laurels and there is a strategy meeting at the end of the month to assess views and decide on a path forward for the club. Stephen finished by thanking everyone for their efforts, for volunteering their time, their commitment. It makes the club what it is and gives him personally great enthusiasm and motivation when we see the support from the volunteers within the club.
It was made clear that Thakeham must be an asset to the club, not a burden and in order to do this we must get certain things in place. There are challenges to overcome. These things are not just going to happen overnight and we need people to step forward and take on responsibilities in this regard. In essence we need a facilities manager to oversee such matters. Sam Collyer and father, Tim Woodcock, the Millers and others have been fantastic so far with their help, but we need more help from other members here.
From an admin point of view, the freehold is still with Oakford Homes. We have been approached to hire it out, but we must take ownership first and some health and safety initiatives put in. There are a lot of costs to running Thakeham, and these costs need to be paid for by Thakeham, not a burden on existing club accounts.
Sarah reported that the women’s team won more games than they lost and the losses themselves were marginal. The softball entry level cricket was a big success and she would like to do more with this. Sarah also hoped there might be more opportunity for coaching this year. Overall it should be considered a successful year but we have to be constantly working hard to maintain the level we have reached now. From a girls cricket point of view, it will take time and effort to restore the girls section and there remains some questions over how to re-establish girls cricket whilst maintaining the opportunities for boys and girls to play and train together.
The First XI had a mixed season of performances, certainly after the way the season started it was felt we probably underperformed. There was great enthusiasm in the 2nd XI but undoubtedly 2019 was a struggle with the relegation of the team. There remains a possibility that we might avoid relegation depending on the league’s decision on what to do with the Crawley Eagles teams who will both be in Division 6 next year unless one is held back or moved across. We should know our fate next week. The Third XI had a great year of course, introducing lots of youth players to senior cricket and there was just a pleasant atmosphere on a Saturday, a very enjoyable team to play in. Finally the 4th XI! One game, the first in our history, which was of course a fantastic achievement. If we can repeat next year we will but only on a friendly basis, we will not be entering a 4th XI league side.
Stephen recognised Morne and everything he brought to the club, both on and off the pitch with his infectious smile. He was a great guy to have around and a brilliant role model for our aspiring young cricketers. Next year, we hope Morne will be able to return of course, but if not we will of course be looking for another overseas player, we will also be looking to give more attention to senior training and coaching, and finally we are always on the look-out for new senior players, wherever they may be!
Election of Officers
Stephen Hodgson re-elected as Chairman
Mike Charman carries on as Treasurer for another year.
Mandy Davies continues as Club Secretary
Glyn Lucas re-elected as Colts Chairman
Sarah Osborne continues as Welfare Officer
James Howgate elected as First Team captain. Stephen took the opportunity to thank Jack for his role as First XI captain this year.
In other positions...
The Club Coach is currently vacant. Feelers have been put out.
Callum Wyatt continues as Second team captain.
Simon Capel continues as Third team skipper.
Sophie Oratis will be Ladies captain with Sarah Osborne vice captain.
Ollie Holden will be our first T20 Sussex Slam captain and Village Cup captain (if we enter).
Jason Davies continues as Membership Secretary
Jim Gee carries on as barman and Head Groundsman
Dan Barnes has volunteered to take on Fixture Secretary from Will Hasler
Jo Alcott will be Social Secretary.
Jon Taylor to continue with Sponsorship
Dave Farnes our 'official' facilities manager
Hugh Warmisham leading on online comms.
Two changes were proposed.
Junior Subscriptions to rise to £65 (sibling £40) to bring it inline with other clubs. The club would like to get more help on the coaching side of the set-up so that every age group will have a qualified professional coach attached to them. The extra cost this entails necessitates a small increase in the subs. It is however felt that this still represents extremely good value for money.
It was also proposed that the Women’s subscriptions to go up to £50 in order to also help pay for additional coaching.
Both proposals were unanimously agreed on.