Jon and his Grandson, Freddie, enjoying a game at Strathpeffer

The 2019 season has been an exciting one to say the least and as I intend to stand for for my final term I hope that 2020 will be a fruitful year, showing results from everyones hard work over the previous two years of my tenure

As a club we have made steady progress at both 1st and 2nd XI – this year winning the T20 senior cup, finishing 2nd in the senior league and winning the Plate in the reserve cup. Once again we were able to send out two competitive teams each weekend, which, I believe, is pretty unique.

Off the field, our year began with a visit from Caledonian Highland Cricket Team who came to help with our pre-season preparations and to have a training session to which our players were invited. This was a good experience for all of those involved and who knows, perhaps this could happen again. 

Our senior training programme has continued to improve and we saw the benefits of this in every aspect of our performance at 1st and 2nd level.

We have made good progress with our youth development programme. Allstars showing a 300% increase in uptake on the previous year. We have also piloted a junior session on Thursday evenings which ran alongside the senior training. We had 3 or 4 attending regularly and this was boosted by visits from a local Beaver group. 

We had 5 members undertake their CSW training which was run by CS.

Pat Cronin continues his stalwart work at Fortress and we have youngsters now attending training sessions during the week.

Schools have been on our to do list for a couple of years and this year we were able to reach about 600 children via school visits. It has to be said that this was made possible through the work of the HCDG and in particular Alex Green as the Cricket Scotland coordinator for the area. Since his recruitment he has made a huge difference to the raising of awareness and participation at primary and u16 level.

Which leads me to the next success story. This year we have hosted an U16 development school  on behalf of CS and Caledonian Highlander, with youngsters from all over the NoSCA area participating. Lewis Pacey (from NCCC) and Shanon Thorpe (from Highland CC) have subsequently been invited down to Dundee, to attend trials for the U16 squad. We wish them luck and know that they will be great ambassadors for their respective clubs.

Of course the year has had its down sides and I think we have learned some valuable lessons in a number of areas. I am not going to dwell on these matters here as I am of the belief that we as a club should learn from the past but concentrate on the future. 

As your club president I have always had the clubs well being and development at the heart of all of my actions. That’s the bottom line. There have been decisions made and actions taken that people have disagreed with and some of those people have made their views known to me very clearly. I thank them for that and hope that will continue in my final year.

So, what will 2020 bring?

Our struggle with the HC continues but I am confident that the NMP will be our home ground for the foreseeable future. We are working closely with the Northern Meeting Park Group to bring the park into community ownership. A task, I have to admit, that has been laden with frustration but we are making progress.

We have Alex Green (and his mum I hope), joining our ranks. He will add to our pool of already, excellent players and as the Cricket Scotland representative we will take full advantage of his knowledge and skills. His mum will bring the scones! Welcome to the mad house.

I want to develop our school presence further. This will be limited by the number available volunteers I know.

I would like to introduce prematch junior training sessions and or games

I will push for further coach development training for those interested.

I would like to see NoSCA evolve and would want us as a club to be in that evolution

I would like to have a greater female representation at the club both on and off the field.

As I said, Alex is joining us but next season there will be someone sadly missed. Jess, as you all know by now will be heading down to Wales to live and work with Jon. It sounds like a great new opportunity for them both. We will miss her (and Jon of course) terribly. Last year, despite her not being able to play because of injury, she attend training sessions and games, supporting the team and, of course bringing along Dickie – our favourite supporter. We will have to consider how we are going to get him to games next year and I’m sure he’ll be there. So, thank you Jess for everything you did at NCCC, good luck on your new adventure and know that there will always been a place for you here at the “Factory”

I would like to thank everyone who has baked a cake, given a lift, brushed up, washed up, hoovered up or done any of the dozens of tasks that go un-noticed (until they are not done!) and finally to Cris. who has endured my trials and tribulations, rantings and ravings over the past 2 years and has been my greatest ally and my fiercest critic – Thank you.

If I’ve missed anything or anyone out – sorry – but please be assured that your efforts are appreciated

Jon Ford

Club President


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