This season, I shall be making no Notices Of Motion beforehand, nor will I be raising any issues at the General Meeting which follows. To be quite honest, I think it is about time we had others in our Club coming up with ways in which we could improve, both on the field and off of it. That would of course hopefully lead to some different people putting their hands up and volunteering to help out.
This new leaf of not pushing ideas into the faces of those few who attend our AGM doesn't mean I have run out of ideas. Goodness gracious me, no. In fact, just for those that have a few minutes to laugh at the thoughts of the insane, here are a few things that I would personally like to see implemented in the 2007/08 season.
1. AVERAGES AND AGGREGATES TO INCLUDE SEMI-FINALS AND FINALS.I've never really understood why semi-finals and finals have not been included in our Clubs final averages and aggregates for Presentation Night awards. Someone at one time must have thought that this was a fair and equitable way to decide on the best players of the season – and to be fair, there has only been a few occasions in the last 60 years that it would have changed the outcome. Still, I feel that we are devaluing the outcome of those matches if they cannot be included as part of the 'official' record come the end of the season.
2. NEW SELECTION PANEL MAKE-UP AND 'CHARTER'From the outside, it feels as though we haven't had a true 'panel' in several years, rather we have individuals choosing their own side, and passing on the players remaining to the next person to select the next team. How this enables a Club to choose the best teams is a mystery to me.
I would like to see our selection panel work in a similar way that our National Selection Panel does. By that I mean the following:
- The Selection Panel is expanded to FOUR people, of which at least two are preferably non-playing, or as very casual players.
- One of the selectors is nominated as Chairman, who is in charge of chairing the SATURDAY NIGHT selection meetings, conversing with Grade captains as to performance of players and teams and team balance and player availability.
- Teams to be chosen so they can be published in local newspapers and on website.
- Selectors to be 'rostered' so that all players and all Grades are viewed on a regular basis. This obviously is targeted at the non-playing selectors, but should playing selectors be injured or have a bye, they will be under the same regulations.
- Selections should be made on a CONSENSUS basis, and not a head-to-head vote. That is, if there is a difference in opinion in a particular selection, the panel should come to a consensus decision on that position, and not engage in a vote which will split the panel. As a panel, it should be a united front. The Chairman is in charge of retaining this position at all selection meetings.
I know many will suggest that this is impossible to implement, if only because we can rarely find non-playing people to put their hand up for a position, let alone two.
As it is, I am even willing to suggest those that may suit the positions. I think if Dale is to become 1st Grade captain, he would make a good member of the panel, as he not only has an interest in the Club, but in how the players of the Club are performing. Steve Holz has done the job for the past two seasons, and is a supporter of the juniors coming through. I'm not sure of his position in regards to captaining 2nd Grade this season, or pushing for a 1st Grade position. In either case, I think he would be another worth choosing. I also think Joe Murphy, if coaxed properly, would be an excellent 'neutral observer', with the role not taking up his entire Saturday, and the ability to have an excuse to be at the Grand Hotel every second weekend for a couple of hours!
To me, this type of situation would serve the Club as a whole better than we have been over recent years.
3. CREATION OF JUNIOR LIASON OFFICER.As Steve has already put forward on the forum in recent weeks, the Club is in dire need of a person who can communicate with the junior club, and in particular the coaches of the Under 16 and Under 14 years teams, in order to assess the ability and keeness of our junior cricketers, and get them into playing Grade cricket as well as their junior matches. I also believe that, should this role be created, that the person should be co-opted onto the Selection Panel in an advisory role, if that person is not already on the panel. Their job would be to assess players in our junior Club, and hopefully encourage them to turn out for our senior teams – not only so that they can gain experience in Grade cricket before they complete their terms as junior players, but in many cases, to improve the standard of our Grade teams!
Again, some candidates stand out as logical people for such a position – I'd have thought Steve himself, or Mick Norris, would be perfect for the position, if they felt like nominating for a position that, of course, currently does not exist.
4. TARGETING OF SPECIFIC GRADE CAPTAINS
In regards to the above position of the Club, the opportunity to redesign the selection panel and the way we select teams, and the need to really target our junior players between the age of 14 and 18, and give them good exposure and good experience, as a Club we would also need to have captains who were on board with this policy, and who were interested in:
- developing young talent with a view to players advancing through the Grades
- ensuring everyone in their team was not only playing to win, but playing in the right spirit
- pushing the line that all players bonded as a team, while still pushing for selection in higher Grades
- ensuring that the betterment of the Club is the ideal.
Well, in an ideal world, yes.
Certainly, I have people in mind for these positions as well, but it is not for me to reveal all of my thoughts out loud. Especially as those people in my mind may not want to have anything to do with it, and others who I have not nominated may crave the position or positions themselves.
5. HALL OF FAME / KIAMA TEAM OF 60 YEARS
I have a real passion for this to go ahead, but it would take some serious organisation, on the same level of the 1st Grade Reunion we held over two years ago. The idea would to hold a night similar to that Reunion, at the Golf Club, inviting all who wished to attend to come, with the night dedicated to presenting the chosen Best Kiama XII since 1946, when the South Coast District Cricket Association began. Those chosen would become the first inductees into the Kiama Cricket Hall Of Fame. Then, every year at Presentation Night, another player would be added to the Hall Of Fame and invited to attend (if still in the land of the living of course).
I think it is an important part of bringing the wonderful history of our Club to those who are playing today, as well as entwining the old and the new. If we did the day right, we could have all of the invitees and guests turn up at the 1st Grade fixture for the afternoon at Cavalier Park, watch Kiama win, and then have a great night that evening.
Those are just some of my thoughts. Others are mostly in regard to social events to get our Club together away from the cricket field, and perhaps I'll air those on the day. Until then, I'm looking forward to the meeting, and what we as a CLUB can come up with for the 2007/08 season.