Here is a report on the final Under-11 fixture of the 2015 season, compiled by Under-11 team manager Chris Piper.
First of all, a huge thank you to the amazing Gary Newell for preparing us a pitch, against all odds. Thanks to Steve B for ‘opening up’ and to Eddy for ‘closing up’ and making sure drinks (alcoholic and otherwise!!) were available. Thanks also to all parents who stayed on and supported their children in the Bradninch twilight.
Certainly the Under 11’s season has come to an end with a very soggy and light effected game against Heathcote tonight. However, the match was almost reminiscent of the Gillette Cup Semi-Final between Lancashire and Gloucestershire at Old Trafford, 28th July 1971, when the match finished at 9.00pm!! (note the date!). Unfortunately the Bradninch team didn’t manage to pull of the same heroics as Lancashire but they did a formidable job, against a Heathcote side that wanted to carry on batting, despite the dangerous conditions for the bowlers and fielders!
We certainly have a talented and motivated group of children who we need to nurture for the 2016 season. How we do this, needs a lot of discussion but it is important to consider trying to make it easier for children, parents and coaches to attend matches and coaching sessions. To this end, I have a few thoughts:
Could we make sure that all competitive matches are played within the school calendar but also making sure that they don’t clash with half-terms, holidays and other key school events? This will need some co-ordination at the time of putting the fixtures lists together but shouldn’t prove to be impossible. After all, it should suit all opposition clubs as well!
BCC will need to consider at what age groups we will need to play at, to give our youngsters the best opportunity for the 2016 season.
Coaching is critical. At the moment, this is held on a Friday evening, which is a day that often cuts in to school and family activities, making attendance somewhat difficult. Many other clubs are now looking at Monday evenings as the best nights for junior coaching, as it is one of the regularly ‘free’ nights for families and rarely used for school activities. Would this be something that we could consider at Bradninch, so as to ensure that we get maximum attendance and support?
Some of the children have mentioned that they would like to concentrate more on batting and bowling coaching. Whether they have a point or not is debatable but certainly their ‘perception’ of this needs consideration.
I would be prepared to come out of ‘retirement’ and provide 3-4 batting-coaching sessions at the beginning of next season. I hear that Dave Bunker is keen to get properly involved.
The under 11’s and under 13’s are closely linked and we have had a lot of success in moving players between teams! This is something that Junior Cricket in Devon needs to move towards generally, at these age groups. Age is irrelevant whilst height and talent definitely isn’t! Nat Hunt has been a significant ‘player’ in managing the under 13’s and has been a great help in getting sides together at all levels. Besides which, her cakes and bacon butties have become legendary! Thanks for all that you have done.