Believe it or not the 2020/21 season starts next weekend with 1st and 2nd grade commencing their seasons with a one-day game against Hawkesbury. We will have a chance to watch 1st and 2nd grade at the same complex, something that very rarely happens. Meanwhile our lower grade players continue training with their season start date being 31st October 2020.
The lead into this season has indeed been strange, all starting with our Virtual Presentation event that was run in May along with our fortnightly ZOOM executive meetings that have been held since mid-March. We are living in the middle of a pandemic and life as we knew it is different. New protocols issued from Cricket NSW means no afternoon teas this season, no saliva or sweat on the cricket balls and a record of attendance at all practices and match days.
I would like to think all our members and supporters are OK at this time, however the reality is several of you have more than likely been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The club would like to reach out to anyone who is struggling and offer our assistance in any way we can.
We have also, primarily due to retirement, seen many of our 1st grade side who started last season, not playing this year. This of course has created fantastic opportunities for our younger players, and from several new players that have come over to the Stags this year looking for some of these opportunities. If ever there was a year, this is the year where strong performances will be rewarded and the potential for players to become top level 1st grades cricketers will be provided. Having attended a trial match at the beautiful Mandalong ground on Saturday there is indeed a lot of talent within our club. A tremendous vote of thanks to Stirling Hamman for allowing us to utilise his beautiful ground.
We have some very capable player leaders in Tym Crawford our 1st grade captain and Matt Wright and Ryan Tullia as our joint club captains. These guys along with our high-quality coaching staff should see our sides develop and perform well through the season.
I would also like to thank my dedicated executive committee and other volunteers for all their hard work during the offseason. There were some incredible challenges that were presented to us and largely they have been overcome by the hard work of our executive team.
The impact of COVID-19 on our club means that financial and volunteer support is as critical as ever. With the assistance of two of our past players in Steve Day and Ben Callanan we have put together a programme for both potential donors and sponsors that will assist in meeting our financial obligations in the next season. We look forward to your ongoing support in this area going forward.
The other key area of support is our volunteers, and there is no doubt that with COVID-19 and the impact it will have this season there will be additional requirements with assistance especially on matchdays where we have to effectively have a COVID-19 Marshall at all games. So again, we look forward to your support to put your hand up and assist our club. As always, the more people that put their hands up the less work it is for one or two people.
So let season 2020/21 commence we are very much looking forward to it after six months of COVID-19 lockdown, there are some exciting young players that I am sure will become household names at Gordon Cricket Club over the coming 12 months and I ask for all your support to help make this a successful season for the Stags.