Well it is here! Cricket season has rapidly snuck up on us and thankfully we are ready!
As President of Murwillumbah Panthers Cricket Club, I am very proud of the work our new Committee, parents and volunteers have done in the preseason for the 2020-21 season.
What a cracker of a season it is lining up to be.
Sponsors and supporters
I am very excited to announce we have a host of new Sponsors to welcome for this season.
Joining us will be Raine and Horne Murwillumbah, Pace Doctor, Praxis Performance, Byron Hot Bread Kitchen, Solutions Medical, Murwillumbah Leagues Club and Bernie’s Trades. Thank you and welcome to these businesses, your contribution is amazing and very much appreciated.
I would also like to thank our returning sponsors Murwillumbah Services Club, Tweed Fruit Exchange, BiRite Electrical, AB Blue Ribbon Meats, Wollumbin Street Bakery, Mavis’s Kitchen and Cabins, Aarked Out Electrical, Johnny Franco’s Place, Tweed Valley Electrical and Matt Palmers Painting.
Some of these sponsors have been supporting our club for many years and without them our club wouldn’t survive. This year particularly deserves an extra big thank you as all businesses were greatly affected by COVID-19 yet were still able to contribute, so many thanks to you all. We have a sponsors page on our website with links to their business online, so please support our sponsors whenever you need a product or service they offer (www.murwillumbahcricket.com/our-sponsors).
Further exciting news is the return of Les Cave oval as our permanent number two turf pitch for 2020-21. This will see our juniors being able to learn the craft of playing on turf which is a great asset and a privilege for them. Thanks to our biggest stakeholder - the Tweed Shire Council. It is because of the council’s support that we can add this big asset to our already amazing facilities.
We hosted the Far North Coast Cricket Academy programs here in Murwillumbah this month and their coaches were very impressed with, and perhaps even a little envious of, the cricket environment we have at Murwillumbah. They themselves run an impressive program for talented cricketers in the far north coast region, check out the video below of them using the Murwillumbah Cricket Club facility. Murwillumbah has three young talented cricketers selected in their Academy program - Risabh Lashand who is in the U14s FNCC Academy and Billy Smith and Hugo Portus, both in the U12 Academy.
Ladies Day & Girls Blasters
I’m very proud to announce our Ladies Day initiative at Murwillumbah Cricket this season. From Thursday 29th October our club will be hosting our girls only Junior Blasters program from 4pm-5.30pm, followed by Ladies Tonk 2.0 from 5:30-7pm. So Guys, encourage your Ladies to sign up for the Tonk and get down and support the Girls! We will have a sausage sizzle and fully licensed bar operating each Thursday. For further information on how to sign up please contact Mel Reeves on 0431 376 514 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Junior & Master Blasters
This season we have very strong numbers for the Junior Blasters program with 20 kids, a 100% increase on last year. Great work to Declan Brooks on providing a great programme last year and for the Come & Try days in September, the kids have just loved it! For the slightly older kids, the Master Blaster’s program will have two teams of 6, also a large increase on last year’s numbers. It is great to see so many youngsters loving the great game, and it’s a priority of the committee to keep junior cricket strong, fun and healthy around Murwillumbah. Its the future of cricket for the club.
In the U11s competition we have promising numbers again playing in our local TDJCA fixture. We have one team playing with our Junior Vice President Steve Hosier coaching this very important group of players in making the transition from soft to hard ball cricket. Very exciting to see these guys wearing all the gear and beginning to grasp the complexities of this wonderful game.
Under 12s & 14s
Again this year we will be fielding two U12s sides in the BDJCA Competition. This seems to be a strong point for junior cricket at Murwillumbah in recent years with continued good numbers. This year farmer extraordinaire and part-time pilot Fred Hughes, and yours truly, will be coaching the Panther and Roar sides respectively. We have one U14s team again this year with experienced coach Marc Portus, who helped take the U12 Panthers to the semi-finals last season. A big thank you to big Matt Palmer for the great job he did last year with the 14s squad. Corey Nix will also be helping out with the U14s this year.
Under 16s and transitioning players
Strangely (!), I am proud to say we only have one U16s team this season, due to many of last year’s 16s making the transition from junior to senior cricket. This transition is notoriously a weak point for cricket where many drop out, so it is great credit to those boys and the club that theses cricketers under transition are slotting in so well around the second grade squad. The 16s coach this season will be well known club man Sid Ewing, another new addition to the coaching team. Good luck Sid, I’m sure you’ll do a great job with the new group of 16s.
Junior Training and Coaching
This season our very experienced head coach Grant Parmenter will be focusing on one junior team each Wednesday on a rotational basis. This is designed to get some specialised coaching to these junior players and support their coaches (often a parent) throughout the season. Regular team training will be as follows:
U11s Monday @4pm
U12s on Wednesdays @4pm
U14s and U16s on Tuesday @4pm
For more information please contact your respective team coach and keep an eye on Facebook and the website calendar (www.murwillumbahcricket.com/calendar) for the training roster and upcoming events.
The Seniors will be training on Wednesdays from 4.45pm - 6.45pm and on Fridays from 4:45pm - 7:00pm. Friday trainings will allow 15 minutes for wickets to be covered and any other game day arrangements to be finalised. Any further information regarding training times and schedules please contact coaching coordinator Declan Brooks on 0481 179 993.
Due to COVID-19 all draws consist of 40 over matches only this season, to allow for imposed health restrictions. I am very pleased to say that this year we will again be fielding a 1st Xl in the LJ Hooker FNCC Fixture, a 2nd Xl in the FNCC Coastal League fixture and two 3rd grade teams in the TDCA fixture. Again, strong senior numbers for the club and its looking like being quite competitive across all 4 teams this season.
The seniors preseason has been encouraging with the 1st Xl boys performing strongly for the majority of their trial games. A few milestones and wins have been achieved which is a promising sign for a young but developing first grade side. Thanks to Grant Parmenter, Declan Brooks and Jess Willemse for their coaching and logistical support during the seniors pre-season and helping make all this happen. Good luck for the season ahead to all senior teams.
All fixtures across junior and senior cricket are now published on the MyCricket app and website (https://mycricket.cricket.com.au/), check out how your team’s season draw has shaped up. The MyCricket mediums also carry all team results and player statistics during the season, which makes it quite popular with players and supporters to keep track of progress.
No job too small or too big
The club can always do with kind people willing to help with jobs big, small, and in between, so please reach out and help our coaches, volunteers, and committee members wherever and whenever you can. Our great club is run by unpaid volunteers and your help will be greatly appreciated. This helps us bring the best experience to all our members and visitors throughout the season. The types of help we need include scoring, canteen and helping coaches with ground setups (e.g. boundary cones, creases for the junior short pitches and putting in stumps).
If you are a player and haven't registered yet, please do so before you walk on the field for round 1, as its important we have you officially registered with the club, meaning you are insured in the unlikely event something goes wrong while playing. The club also needs the revenue from registrations to ensure it can continue to function. You can register at www.playcricket.com.au - just search for 'Murwillumbah' at the playcricket website. There are also links to the playcricket website from our website.
If you are experiencing financial difficulty the club can make arrangements to help make things easier with payment plans, please contact me on email@example.com if this applies to you. For juniors make sure you use an 'Active Kids' voucher from the NSW government, this will give you $100 off your registration fee. The NSW government makes these available to every NSW residential child to encourage them to play sport and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Best of luck to all our teams, players, supporters, and volunteers for a massive and enjoyable season ahead.
Till next month.
Yours in Cricket,
Murwillumbah Cricket Club
‘A club for all to come and thrive through cricket’