For as long as I can remember, the end of season Presentation Nights have been about talking up the following season. No matter how well you may have done as an individual, or how well the team you were in has done, or how the Club as a whole has performed, when it comes to the Presentation Night, the talk abounds about how much better the performances will be in the next season.
Examples would include generic statements such as:
· "Next season I'm going to score *insert number of runs* runs"
· "Next season I'm going to take *insert number of wickets* wickets"
· "Can you believe that *insert team* won the comp last season?! If they can do it, surely we can do it next season!"
· "We'll be right, because next season we're going to get *insert
players name* and *insert players name* is coming back as well, so we'll
be definite contenders!"
· "I'm definitely playing next season, and we'll give this competition a shake!!"
It is this final example that has gotten me into trouble for the season ahead.
Though rumours had floated around in the weeks preceding, it was not
until Kiama Cricket Club's Annual General Meeting on the Saturday before
the Presentation Night that it was confirmed that our Club would be
nominating a second Third Grade team in the 2010/11 season, which would
be specifically directed toward the upcoming youth in the Club. It was
an idea some of us had been floating for the past five years, but the
opportunity to do it right had never really materialised. To do the job
right, you had to have the right mix of juniors who were both talented
enough and enthusiastic enough to want to play Grade cricket after their
junior matches on a Saturday morning, as well as a core of senior
players who were not only still good enough to hold their own in Grade
cricket, but were willing enough and committed enough to play for a
season (or more) in such a venture, for the good of the future of the
At the reflectional drink in the bar of the Kiama Leagues Club following
the meeting, our illustrious Life Member Joe Murphy was quite happy to
throw up my name as not only a participant in this proposed side, but as
captain of the team. Though I mentioned that I was open to the
possibility, that was the most I was willing to commit myself to.
So we come to the Presentation Night, and having had the illustrious Joe
Murphy bandy about during the evening that I was going to captain this
new side, there were many seniors coming forward to pronounce their
interest in the venture. Strangely enough, all were imbibed with
alcoholic bravado which could not help their situation.
In my case, I was keen enough, but there were two initial stumbling
blocks. The first was my work situation, where I worked every second
Saturday until about 2pm, meaning I was effectively out every other
week. The second was the willingness of my family to excuse me from
their presence on the Saturdays I could play. the second of these
problems was solved on that evening. Along with Joe, fellow Life Member
John Watts and myself at our table were our erstwhile partners. With the
conversation sticking quite solidly about the following season's
cricket (see above explanation), Helen was in fact forward in suggesting
I should be a part of this team, and that I should be playing in the
coming season as a part of it. Once this was out, there was no turning
The only part of Joe's push that could not come to fruition was me being
the captain of the side. There was no chance of me being able to forgo
work on those Saturdays, and thus any chance of me leading the team as
well. In my mind this was probably a good thing. When new President Rob
Farrell was able to convince Joe to take on the job, he found the right
person. Easy-going yet competitive, a good reader of the game and also
able to relate to all age groups, Joe was really a natural for the job.
His success as captain of the 1999/2000 2nd Grade side, that was similar
in construction for what the Club was looking for in this 3rd Grade
team also boded well for his appointment.