Home: the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.
Having been involved with South Wingfield Cricket Club (with a few seasons playing with Ashover CC junior team, in the middle) for over 10 years now, it seemed about time that it would become more than just turning up to playing games and going home.
Growing up with an older brother who was also involved in the same club was always the immediate indicator not to get involved with the social side of the sport.
This all changed in the year 2015.
Spending almost every night of the week down at the ground be it practicing or helping with ground work.
I even went on tour. YES. ME. Alex Briggs.
May I add, if I’m not mistaken of course, that I also won the award for ‘Man of tour’ or something along those lines.
He who does not (did not) drink was being sociable all of a sudden. A lot of which is owed to a certain Kyle Mitchell. My superior on a Sunday and a real good friend off the pitch too, Kyle got me more involved where ever he could from helping with junior training to being his assistant captain on a Sunday. To which I am thankful.
And is why the club is beginning to feel like ‘home’
Anyway, with the 2016 cricket season just around the corner, there’s no better time than now to start looking at what has become of South Wingfield CC.
A minnow of a cricketing outlet with neighbouring Alfreton CC often taking all the attention in terms of on-field success and off field developments, but that viewpoint is one of someone who doesn’t see the rising tide of South Wingfield.
The sleeping giant to use an old cliché.
Every ship needs its captain, often a true servant to the cause, and the brains behind the brawn.
Could we ask for someone better than Andrew Mitchell to do that?
If you can find a single soul who is more passionate about the state of their local cricket club than Andrew then you’ve done exceptionally well. He puts his money where his mouth is, ideas on the table and never says no to anything that will benefit the club. Club legend Nick Marshall also deserves a huge pat on the back for his continued hard work off and on the field.
All these decisions are marshalled by the boss’ right hand man. Dean Briggs
Showing no favouritism whatsoever to my old man (sorry) but he has done a tremendous job at steadying the ship and maintaining safe passage through troubled waters. Bad back, bad knee, bad weather he’d be at the ground digging out some holes or lifting something he shouldn’t.
But he did, and so did the usual suspects.
Mick Young, Dave Harker, John Hardwick, Mark Dance, Chris Dunn to name those first to offer helping hands.
Others often finding themselves involved such as the Chamberlains, Pines, Dale and Harry Brown and perhaps the most heroic of all. Mr Pugh-Lewis.
When the club committee agreed to pursue the use of a second home pitch Jim was more than happy to help out through the use of his company’s expertise and machinery. Putting Jim in charge of the new ground development alongside chief groundsman John Hardwick ensures that the new pitch will (hopefully) be in place come the start of this new season, which is a huge positive for the whole club moving forward.
Forward being the only direction this club can go from now.
Although the most significant of actions has happened off the field in terms of the progression, it was the on-field performances behind why I chose to write this blog.
Following the disappointing season for the first team last season, on-field recruitment seemed to be the priority in the winter and the chairman duly obliged by capturing the services of former Alfreton first team captain Alex Mace and the frightfully tall figure of Callum Spencer. Alex as I understand will become the new first team captain following Chris Dunn’s decision to step down. Callum who not only offers his services as a very uncomfortable bowler to face but also a new, invaluable member to add to the committee.
Chris Dunn joined Wingfield at the start of all the new developments and has been a pivotal figure in bringing first team success to the club, what is a great bonus is that despite all he does behind the scenes he is still a very high quality batsman that we have at our disposal.
Another gift to the first team this term is the potential of a return from opening bowler Adam Young. Having a player such as Adam to work with can only mean good things on the bowling front for a side that lacked in that department. Add to this the return of Richard Briggs. Who not only adds to the armoury but Richard also adds a few more inches to the average height within the first team, oh, and another to the ‘Briggs’ gang.
In terms of the rest of the side, hotshot Liam Mitchell, accompanied by Brother Kyle and the likes of Sam Colclough, Charles Jones, Steven Shuttleworth and Oliver Green will be sure to add important contributions throughout the year.
A new overseas on the way and the possibility of two more player conversations within the next few weeks offer endless positives for a club making huge strides.
Looking at the second team, the most successful of the four senior teams last season, led by Mark Dance will be looking to perform just as they did last season. Winning the league by a country mile, combining results with the most relaxed atmosphere inside a changing room, there is still plenty on offer from a very young and fresh faced side.
The likes of Dan Bearder, Rob Borland, Josh Drizen and Adam Briggs all with plenty to offer. Harry Brown, one of the stand outs of the 2015 season will look to further his personal game following his first century and some devastating displays with the ball in hand too. Dylan Kitts is another name fluttering around the second team dressing room, a real athlete in the field and a comical mind to have around, Dylan will aiming to be a more regular member this season.
Possibly adding another new signing, Craig Robinson, into the mix can add a very assured batsman to the line-up and may be just what the team need after flirting with different batsman throughout the year gone.
To finish mindfully for the second team, a mention should go to a certain Nigel Ashmore. For not only his comedy in the dressing room, the arm under which he originally took me under and nurtured me through, but also for his time and effort he gave to score for team and then donate his earnings at the end of the season. A real team first player if you needed an example.
John Power, third team correspondent for want of a better title led his side to an extremely successful year with promotion into division nine.
The Wright twins, the Gratton brothers, Anthony Crick and Kieran Robinson the crème of the crop. Bringing the third team alongside the first team pitch at Holme Lane will inevitably increase the appeal for those wanting to play more fixtures throughout the year as no more trips to Clay Cross will be needed.
With a steady ship, three teams should be buckled in for a roller coaster year, hopefully one that will see more ups than downs on and off the pitch.
Not forgetting the Sunday side. Perhaps the youngest of all four open age group sides, led by Kyle, the master tactician, saw themselves gain promotion to division one despite not the best of seasons.
Youthful, energetic, promising and baffling at times.
Being the assistant captain playing on a Sunday means just as much to me as it does on a Saturday.
Therefore success on both days is paramount.
Higher divisions mean more appeal to those on the outside. Our new overseas is now permitted to play both days which is great for him. As well as this the new signings may also be able to add the missing ingredients to already a very healthy looking side for the future.
To conclude the 2016 season has me itching to put on my whites and head home already. So here’s to more Sunday afternoons spent sat on the splinter-less (thankyou Dale) new benches accompanied by Mark Chamberlain shortly after he’s necked back his fifth pint. And that’s before the game’s even started!
The future is bright.
The future is Maroon and Gold.
We’re all Wingfield aren’t we?