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Junior Cricket Update: Numbers up and Coach Development

Despite the lack of actual cricket matches the club is pleased to advise you that controlled Junior training sessions are now into their third week this Monday.

The interest generated by 6 week winter sessions has not been lost as now over 40 children have signed up to attend on Monday. These numbers are fantastic relative to numbers last year and even better when taking into account three months of lockdown.

We are reaching the stage where we would like to encourage keen parents to get involved on the evening, even as far as administration goes, keeping registers or even helping with cricket drills. Anyone who is interested please speak to Guy or Ruth.

Here is a small gallery of pictures taken today when our coaches attended a Coach Development Meeting where ideas, drills and techniques were shared and consolidated ready to deliver quality sessions to our juniors

Keep up the good work and thanks

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Junior Training to Return on June 15

Following my email from last week we have been working with our Coaches, along with recent ECB guidelines to introduce Junior training sessions back at Stretford Cricket Club starting on Monday 15th June 2020.

So that we have an idea of numbers please can you email ( to let me know if your child/s would be attending the sessions. We will follow up with phonecalls midweek. Plan is that we have a 1:5 ratio (1 coach with 5 kids) in 5 groups on each Mon evening and the session will be for 1 hour,  each group will stay with the same Coach for the 1 hour and move around to the 5 different stations throughout the session. 

The hour session will be done between hours 6-8pm depending on how many children we have booked on each week but I can confirm when I know from the responses and availability.

If you are interested in attending sessions all we ask is a payment of £20 through the attached link, and there will be no charge of fees on the night of the training. If you have already paid an associate member fee prior to this, a £5 top up will be required to ensure the membership for the training sessions.

This fee is only valid for the period of the Covid-19.

All club kit and equipment used will be sanitised throughout the sessions and social distancing will be adhered to at all times.  Parents will be required to stay on site to ensure supervision of their child/s at all times throughout the sessions.

Please ensure they bring their own refreshments, water, drink bottles to the training sessions, as the clubhouse will only be open for toilet facilities -nothing else will be available.

I have also attached a link to the current ECB website on any immediate queries you may have in relation to training/safety of sessions

However from the Club perspective if you do have any concerns, either prior to the training starting on the night – please discuss them with myself as Junior Manager.

Hope to hear from you all soon.

Ruth Cotton, Junior Manager

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Memberships 2020: Renewals During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Let’s face it, there is never a good time for a global pandemic and UK lockdown. It came at a very dissapointing time for all friends of Stretford Cricket Club following so much winter work by the members.

We secured funding to relay the square, signed a new kit deal, secured new sponsors and ran a sucessful winter training program for young beginners to bolster numbers in the junior section. We also were looking forward to our overseas players having a big impact with also a couple of new senior playinga additions.

Unfortunately, all that work, the cricket fixtures, training and pre-season work has been on hold and suspended while we wait further news from the ECB and we all make progress along the Government’s lockdown roadmap.

As you have probably realised that we have to work hard to continue to run the club to ensure it is secured for the future and we have all our usual overheads to pay without any of the income from bar sales we rely upon.

Since we have moved beyond May 1st, I must advise all members that their memerbship have now expired and now need to be rewed. We are requesting, and would be very grateful, if all members (senior, junior and social members) renew as an associate member this year at the rate of £15.00.

The Associate Membership will allow you to access the club grounds during lockdown in line with government guidance with a guest however there will be no access to the club house and if you were a full playing member last season and aged over 18 you will be able to vote at the AGM.

As we continue along the COVID-19 road map and details are announced about training we will release details of how training can be carried out and managed at the club safely. If we do play some form of cricket later into the summer we will implement our “pay as you play” rate for senior players. Further details will also be announced about possibel Junior training and cricket matches but at the moment we are following ECB advice fully.

I would like to ask members wanting to renew to head over to our Join Us page to complete an online form in order to update our records. You may pay your Associate Membership online or by arranging a BACS transfer to Stretford Cricket Club (Sort Code 16-32-28 Account Number 12925625 but please use your name as a clear payment reference.

Once again thank you for your continued support and I look forward to seeing you at the club in the near future

Chris Sharp
Club Secretary

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Lottery Funding to help Stretford Cricket Club during current COVID-19 pandemic

Stretford Cricket Club in Manchester been awarded £4391.00 National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund towards running costs during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. As a club they do not employ any staff or players to play cricket and rely on volunteer, local players and its junior section to survive. The overheads of the club just to stay afloat are sizable.

The outbreak of the virus and the consequent shutdown of businesses as of March 23 has left the sport and physical activity sector facing a period of uncertainty.

In response, on March 31 Sport England announced a £195m package to help the sport and physical activity sector through covid-19. Within the package is a £20m Community Emergency Fund, of National Lottery money to deliver immediate funding to those who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but are experiencing short-term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus.

The grant will allow Stretford Cricket Club to cover its insurance premiums, pay utility bills, service it’s ground machinary and go someway to cover lost bar sales revenue from the many hire outs which have been canceled since March 23

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s Chief Executive, said “As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity participation, we want the vital grassroots organisations that make sport and physical activity happen in this country to not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future. The £20m Community Emergency fund, made possible by National Lottery players is part of a multimillion pound package of support we are providing to ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to the nation’s health and wellbeing.

“We are proud to be able to provide vital funding to Stretford Cricket Club to help it through these extremely challenging times.”

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SUEZ Funding Success for Stretford

We are very pleased to announce some good news which is definitely needed in the current climate.

The club received confirmation from SUEZ Communities Trust that we have been successful in our bid to secure funding for our ground improvement plan.

The club has been awarded £33,000 in order to relay the playing square and we would like to thank SUEZ for supporting our bid.

We are still waiting to hear from ECB and GMCL about the season however we are planning on commencing cricket playing at some point this year and therefore works on the square will hopefully begin at the end of August.

The club had to provide a third party contribution to the award. We would sincerely like to thank everyone who kindly donated towards our project after watching our long suffering groundsman Ian Holding in an appeal video we filmed in October. It really tugged on the heart strings and we have raised over two thousand pounds towards our goal. Plans will be made to raise the remaining funds when we have more advice on social gatherings.

In the meantime online donations are still possible at our gofundme page

Thanks to the members who worked so hard on the funding application and we hope to have more positive news soon

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GMCL Player Registration

We have received the following email from the GMCL regarding Player Registration for the 2020 season. If you wish to play this year you will need to complete league registration of £10.00 and Stretford Membership Fees. You will be required to subscribe onto Cric HQ and upload a passport style photo (before you read the following release from GMCL please bear in mind that the registration is free for juniors and needs to completed by anyone who plays senior cricket – no photo upload is required for U12 and below)

GMCL will have a new player registration system in place for the 2020 season which will go live in March 2020.  This will be operated via a link from the GMCL website.  
This Update (Feb 2020) follows on from the original briefing note and gives additional detail where held and responds to all the comments and questions we have received where we are able.  

This briefing note is to give you all advance notice of this arrangement and provide you with details of the work we have been doing over the last few months to hopefully answer your questions.
Our League costs over £40,000 to administer every year and to fund this we rely heavily upon the generous support of sponsors such as Marston’s, Carlsberg Tetley, Tiflex and others. As you know, there are no league fees and we have used money raised to date to set up and fund the cricHQ system and give away access to the cricHQ ‘app’ in past seasons.  
UPDATE Feb 2020:
The new registration system is not an easy route for us to end fundraising through sponsorship, in fact we are continually chasing leads and contacts to help us develop and grow and, more importantly, allow us to support our clubs’ development and we want to be able to use our funds raised to provide direct help when we can. Carlsberg Tetley’s are sponsoring us again in 2020 as are Marston’s and only recently our team have added Malbern Windows as our main sponsor of the website, so if you need a quote please contact them by clicking on the web page image and say you are with GMCL; as always with Malbern you will get a great deal and the league benefits too!
We won’t be charging league fees and we are continually trying to drive down fines by improving processes to make it easier to comply with the rules that make our league fair and equitable for all clubs and all players; our aim remains that clubs use their hard-earned resources to benefit their club and their members. We are not looking to create a bank account full of clubs’ money to which clubs have no access.
Our new 4 year licence agreement and main League Sponsorship with CricHQ and MAR (My Action Replay) is now vital in giving us the advanced technology used to power our website, Twitter and the cricHQ app with live scores, results, video and information and we are taking the opportunity to build the system for our future by extending the agreement to include administration functions, initially player registration in 2020 onwards.
UPDATE Feb 2020:
We are not in debt, we run with the aim of not generating profits or building assets unnecessarily so the registration fees paid by the senior players to cricHQ will be used not only to cover our cricHQ fees but also to cover the supply of the premium cricHQ app for all senior and junior players as well as match officials and our scorers.
Because of the numbers involved we have been able to negotiate the fee down significantly from the current individual off the shelf rate of £30 per person for the premium app giving the same highest level of access to every player at every club irrespective of standard, division or competition.
To further ensure maximum benefit for players we have also negotiated, again using the scale of the league to provide the best price, personal accident cover with the excellent Extra Cover Insurance for every player irrespective of age in every GMCL game in every division or cup competition. This provides benefits for the player should they be injured travelling to or from the game or during the game. Many clubs have insurance, but most do not have personal accident cover.  We believe the provision of this benefit for every player meets the stated aims of the league using the size of the league to generate great value services for our players. Why are we doing this? We want to make the excellent match records and statistics service on cricHQ even better by eliminating scorecard errors so that our scorers generate stats that are as accurate as possible at the close of the game for the benefit of all our players and officials.  We need to change what is happening now so that club and league administrators don’t have to spend hours each week correcting errors. To achieve this, we need to tighten up how players are registered and recorded with our clubs. 
UPDATE Feb 2020:
With a clear registration all scorers will have all players available to add to teams ready for scoring, all players stats will be correctly grouped against their name and not lead to players with multiple records as happens club and league volunteers will not spend hours each week trying to correct errors Also we must act, following concerns raised by many clubs and players, to eliminate the growing use of ineligible and, most particularly, unregistered players by the introduction of a photo ID system within the registration and scorecard system allowing player photos to be brought up on device screens as soon as the team has been entered on to the scoring app.  Photo ID as a printed card has been a successful deterrent in several leagues, we believe the electronic version of this that we are designing with cricHQ will match or better that success and prevent players playing under other’s names.
UPDATE Feb 2020:
With a clear online registration the improved player stats will provide transparency for captains, opponents and the league on which players are available to play in games where there are player restrictions. The improved player stats will provide transparency for club and league awards at any time without several weeks work checking figures and merging player records. We will no longer have post-match complaints of unregistered players when everyone has gone home, and neither the league nor the clubs are able to prove anything.  A visual check on matchday will ensure that the players named on the team sheet are the players playing in the game. Heavily penalties will be enforced for any false registrations or for any club, captain or player taking actions with the intention of deceiving the system. We do not have to wait until a plastic ID card is available for players to take part in a game. We do not have to have a separate registration procedure for late additions to the team, already registered players can be easily added, players new to the club in the season who are not transferring can be registered at the club online up to an hour before the game and before the scorer uploads the fixture ready for scoring. The app and the personal accident insurance are also available to the player immediately after completing the registration. We also hope to finalise the integrated captains report and umpires report systems and make this available to all our users. The system generates direct contact from the league to relevant persons to ensure reports are not forgotten, to reduce unnecessary fines for our clubs.
UPDATE Feb 2020:
Some of the additional benefits of registration we are looking to in the future will give captains and club officials direct contact with all players in a squad.  Give improved team of the week stats Mean annual forms require less repeated input Ensure banned players cannot be selected  
Some larger leagues around the country bring in thousands, some up to £10,000 in fines per annum. We want our fine income to be nil and we will continue to find ways for our clubs to more easily comply with our rules and requirements.
 So, summarising, in the first instance the amendments should – reduce the occasions where scorers cannot access the correct player for the team. improve the match commentary function and shot description with more accurate feed. better align player details to the MyActionReplay (MAR) video and provide a player ID capability so that umpires and opponents have certainty over the players taking part in any game. reduce fines for clubs for missing reports allow us to pre-populate umpire appointments on to fixtures give us and all clubs full use of the team and club communication system inbuilt into cricHQ support our reporting requirements on player statistics and participation of around 3500 senior and junior players to feed reports to the ECB and LCF to improve the game for all who participate. support GMCL administration by informing us of player numbers and levels of activity and changes year on year. This will allow us to better respond to concerns or highlight successes. cricHQ and My Action Replay are leading the way around the world with their cricket scoring and linked video technology and we at GMCL are driving and developing our partnership with them to deliver the best one stop system for players, scorers, club officials and coaches as well as our panel and club umpires. Who does this apply to? Before the start of the 2020 season every player including juniors and all panel & club umpires must register on to the system, and non-playing league & club officials, non-playing club managers and coaches, non-playing club volunteers should register on to the cricHQ system.  
Please note that registration is mandatory for all players of all ages; without a registration a player cannot play.
The details requested for all groups listed above will be Name, Date of Birth, Gender, Player Type (England Qualified/ Overseas etc) or role (scorer etc), Player Ethnicity, E-Mail address and a passport style photograph.
We have the guarantee and certainty of compliance with GDPR by cricHQ which will mean that this data will not be removed from cricHQ for any other use.
UPDATE Feb 2020:
Whilst we are satisfied that in restricting the data available visible in cricHQ to the display of only a name and player photo it should significantly reduce any fears around disclosure of young players information we do understand that we must do everything in our power to reduce concerns to an absolute minimum without losing sight of the reasoning for the upload of a photo.
Therefore, we will not seek mandatory upload of a passport style photo for any junior player who will not be playing senior cricket,
So, this amendment means the following do not have to upload a photo all juniors at under 12 and younger, who are not allowed to play in senior cricket Junior players who do not take part in any 1st XI, 2nd XI, 3rd XI, 4th XI league and cup fixtures. Passport style photo upload is still required from Juniors who will take part in any senior games All Juniors still have to register on the cricHQ system and from the point of registration they will have access to the premium cricHQ app on the e-mail used and be covered by the Extra Cover Personal Accident Insurance.
Thank you to the few representations that were made to the Board, we recognised we could do more and have reacted accordingly. What does this cost? Anyone 18 or over on 1 September 2019 wishing to play in any GMCL competition must pay £10 at the time of registration.
There is no fee for the following: – players who were Under 18 on 31 August 2019 any of the following who do not play in any GMCL competition Registered Scorers Registered Team Managers and Club Coaches Registered Umpires (League Panel or Club) Registered Club Officials and Volunteers UPDATE Feb 2020:
It  has been suggested that this payment is unfair on occasional players or fill in players with last minute call ups but unfortunately our experience shows it is often the last minute players and fill ins where the issue of unregistered players or players playing under false names arises as clubs look to plug gaps and for ease will often turn to a player with experience rather than one without.
The benefits kick in at registration for the season ahead and the app can be used to follow the team however many games are played; of course an alternative for avoiding the fee is registering a junior which incurs no cost, something we want to encourage at all clubs.
We also believe that this will encourage better management of playing squads, to avoid last minute registrations and player shortages.
We will not be making any changes at this time for senior players however we have agreed we will look at the stats at the season end to determine any negative impact and consider how we can respond to this going forward, perhaps looking at patterns of play of occasional players and look into the possibility of refunds What is given in return? The club and league administration benefits are very good but there are other benefits to those registering.
Everyone registering will receive: – Free access to the Premium ‘All Access’ cricHQ App (worth £30 per year). This gives access to all live ball by ball scorecards and videos on match days and all year round. This will be done by a simple mail to your registered e-mail to claim you profile with no further forms to complete All registered players (of all ages) competing in any senior or junior GMCL organised match will receive: Free Personal Accident Insurance Cover from the date of registration through “Extra Cover”, brokered by Marshall Wooldridge.  The cover provides benefits to players for accidental bodily injury whilst engaging in official activities, including: Competitive cricket matches organised by the insuring body (GMCL) Including pre-match activity for GMCL Organised matches Practice matches or official practice or coaching session organised or attended by the insuring body (GMCL) Duties on behalf of the insuring body (GMCL) Direct travel to/from any of the above activities. The league already pays insurance for our umpires and those taking part in GMCL representative games.
If you already subscribe to the app and pay monthly but qualify for free “all access” in accordance with the above, please log in to your account and cancel the subscription before March.
Please check your club policy for Personal Accident Cover.
  What happens next? We will be writing to each club’s secretary to explain the system and procedure in full in due course, when all details are known.
The system will be ready for inputting on 1 March 2020 giving 6 weeks for all players to register prior to the new season.
UPDATE Feb 2020:
Concern has been expressed that clubs do not see or communicate with many players until nearer the season and so they will not get the message to players to register early.
The beauty of the online system is that there is no cut-off date, players can register in the week leading up to their first game, The only deadline is that they must be registered before they can play.
Some clubs have said that they are having a registration night, some will do it at winter nets and some have said they are in regular contact with their players so should have no problem sharing the details as soon as we share the full rules. We leave this to you.
We believe this is another major step forward in the efficient, forward thinking administration of our league enabling us all to make best use of the full benefits of the cricHQ system and allowing us to support you as clubs and players to make the game more interesting, fairer, safer and more enjoyable for more and more to play this great game.
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AGM Date Accounced

Thursday 30th January 2020
The Boundary, Lesley Road

PRE EGM 7.30

Proposed Rule Change

Rule 4a – insert “First XI Captain” as a member of management committee with full voting power.

Club Officers 2020

Please use the link to post your nominations. You cannot nominate yourself. To be able to stand for a position you must not be subject to any ban and be fully paid for the year 2019.
Nominations will close one week prior to the AGM. Nominated person will be elected if unopposed if only nomination up to a week before AGM. Nominations for vacant posts will not be
accepted on the night of the AGM however the new committee may co-opt any member following the AGM

Role – Nominated Person (Proposed by/Seconded by)

Vice Chairman
Director of Cricket
Fundraising Chair
Ground Chair
House Chair
Social Chair
Bar Manager
One Other Memeber
Press Officer
Child Welfare Officer
Club Captain
1st XI Vice
2ndXI Captain
2ndXI Vice
3rdXI Captain
3rdXI Vice
Junior Manager
Junior Committee
House Committee
Ground Committee
Fundraising Committee
Social Committee

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20/20 Vision: Guy Robinson – Director of Cricket


I’ve always tried to live by the principle of giving 100% in everything that I do. If you give 100 % and it is not good enough you cannot question yourself. Thats exactly what I try to do from day one when I joined Stretford in 2015.

I have been involved in cricket for many years and whilst Junior Chairman of a thriving junior section at Brooklands,I was approached to see if I would be interested in overseeing all cricket at Stretford in the role of Director of Cricket .I could see massive potential in taking the club forward and jumped at the chance to try to fulfil that potential .I had already had a good rapport with Stretford over the years whilst both playing and in a coaching junior teams against them .

Being such an active club member natural to me.We are getting a very good core of club members not who are willing to help in all aspects of the club now which is very encouraging.

I would hope that I was approachable to everyone and if they need any advice I am always available. There is not one style of management,certain players need an arm around their shoulder or others need to be encouraged in a slightly stronger way .

Bonfire night was a prime example of what the club does well.It is such a massive event for the club and the number of club members who volunteered in many capacities to make it such a success was  absolutely fantastic.We are always looking for more volunteers and new ideas coming into the club so if anyone is willing to help in any way we would love you to get involved.

There are many things that can be improved at the club but I feel better communication is needed.We are doing an awful lot of work on our new website  to make it easier for players to advise their availability and paying memberships etc at the moment.

My vision for the club on the field is to keep improving and to continue to give opportunities to younger players in the senior teams.All our senior teams have players who have come through or are still in the junior section and I am very keen for this to continue.We are always looking to increase our junior and senior members so any new members would be made more than welcome.

I would say the highlights would have to be the 1st team getting promotion in my first season and the Under 18/19 having great successes in reaching the the Lancashire Cup final and winning the South Manchester League .

I have had my own opticians practice for 30 years in Stretford Mall,’Specialeyes Optical Centre which keeps me very busy and all club members get discounted rates for all their optical needs!! I love all other sports and have been a ‘massive’ Manchester City fan all my life so watching the style of football we are playing now is fantastic.

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True Grit: Australian Leary signs for Stretford and promises to show true fighting spirit

We are delighted to announce that Australian, James Leary has signed for the club for the 2020 season to fill one of our overseas slots. The highly regarded 19 year old from Sydney is an innovative right handed batsman currently playing for UTS North Sydney Bears.

It has been no ordinary journey for James who has already achieved so much at a young age both on and off the pitch. His story is one of defiance, stark realisation and triumph over adversity. His passion for the game has never been brighter and he is intent on giving it his all in trying to achieve his dream.

I’m left feeling humbled very quickly only seconds into our conversation and it becomes clear that this Aussie is someone who thrives with his back to the wall. He has a serious will to win and passion for the game along with with a clear perspective on life that developed early;

“I’m from Sydney and I currently live on the Central Coast in New South Wales. I was born with a heart condition called Aortic Stenosis, which is a narrowing of the aortic valve opening. I’ve already had 3 open heart operations in my lifetime when I was one, fifteen and another at the start of 2019.

I live with my Dad and Granddad and have two brothers and two sisters (Duan, Lilly, Kiara and Jezzie) My mum passed away in 2009 when I was 8 and it was about that time I first started playing cricket.”

A young James instantly took to the game of cricket and managed to bag 3/3 off 2 overs and scored 21* retired in his first game. His most cherished moment in cricket as scoring his first century as a 13 year old with his Dad (who is a bloody legend) batting at the other end.

Despite his remarkable duck to water introduction into cricket it was by no means easy. He already overcame a number of odds to begin playing but it was not until his dream was threatened that James began to properly focus on his game

“Dad tried to keep me off the streets as a young kid but I grew up in a really tough area so it was hard up until around 15 when I got into some trouble. I got selected in a touring team to play cricket in Sri Lanka. My Dad had told me that if I ever got into trouble that I would not be able to travel. That was a scary moment and was a bit of a wake up call. I got my head together and needed to be more mature. I got my life on track and completed school and now I’m training exceptionally hard to hopefully one day fulfilling my dream of becoming a professional cricketer. In the end I went on tour and its the only time I’ve ever left Australia but I did score the most runs on that tour including three half centuries at an average of 38 ”

“I love the game, there’s not a day that goes by where I haven’t either trained at the nets or played backyard cricket with my mates, I work very hard on becoming the best cricketer I can be and I hope to bring a focus and will to win to Stretford. I wear my heart on my sleeve and will do anything required to see the team over the line for a win and sing the team song.

“I take my cricket seriously but I love to see people laugh and having fun, I think I’m also very easy to get along with and I love meeting new people, getting to know my teammates and club mates really well. I think my teammates would say that I am a fighter at the crease. I love it when it’s tough and difficult that’s when I bat the best especially when I copping a lot of sledging from the opposition about my unorthodox shots and shot selection I love a celebration when I take a wicket and when our team gets a wicket you will hear my “whoooooo” in the next suburb!”

Over the last few years consistent run scoring has been an issue for the club. The bowling has generally been good and we’ve managed to bowl teams out. I spend a few minutes talking about the club and I ask what he knows already:

“I heard you guys finished third last season and just missed out on promotion however due to a league restructure the standard will be better than last season. So on the field I’m hoping to contribute runs and wickets to drive us up the league and win games. Winning a comp with your teammates has to be the best feeling in the game of cricket! Personally I am setting my targets very high and hope to get a couple of centuries and some wickets!

I briefly tell James about what he can expect in Manchester and at Stretford. I inform him that there is something for everyone whether you like music, sport, art, eating, pubs, clubs but such is his focus on cricket that the conversation again turns to what he can do better;

“Off the field I want to experience some good nights out in Manchester and London. I have a couple of mates from my club in Sydney who play in th Lancashire set up that have told me those places are good for a night out. I’d like to travel a bit to places like Paris, Amsterdam, Ireland and I would like to go to some place with snow. Despite this I do want to start eating a lot more healthier in England than I do in Australia and become a lot fitter than I am at the moment”\ which I think will help my game”

We are looking forward to James joining the Stretford team and can guarantee that he will be well looked after at the club. We wish him luck for the rest of his summer in Australia as our search for new members and players continues.

Join the club here

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Schoor so Schoor: Danie’s Road to SCC and National Cricket

Danie van Schoor played for Stretford in 2015 and 2016 and is another member of the southern-African contingent who enjoyed stints at the club. Danie took time out from his training with the Namibia national team and work to chat about his road to Manchester and being part of the national team

The van Schoor family has a fine cricket pedigree with father Melt, uncle Ian, brother Raymond and cousin Anneri all playing for the National Team. As a result Danie was always going to be involved in cricket from a young age

“ I was taken to the field as a young kid, like 5 or 6 years old and I would be playing with my toys next to the field watching my dad play. I didn’t really play any mini cricket. When I reached the age of 8 or 9 that is when I started to play big boy cricket and at 13 I played my first game in the Premier League in Namibia. It was a quick rise but I have never looked back since then. I played my first first class game at the age of 17. I think youngsters in England have a bit more of advantage because the age groups start at U7 and U9 and it gets them involved earlier” (indeed Stretford has u9 cricket so take advantage people of Stretford! -ed)

His first 1st class game was a proud moment for Danie and the excitement and expectancy he felt was a result of hard work over the years however, his first memory of the match was a reminder that you can’t do it all on your own in cricket and its a team game.

“The captain Nicholas Scholtz threw me the ball and sagely advised “it is your time now””. My older brother was standing behind the stumps. I was so excited and fuelled by adrenalin and I knew as soon as I released my first off-spinner that it was going to rip square. I can still can feel the ball coming out the hand . The ball took the edge of the bat but the catch was dropped at first slip. I finished wicketless in my first spell!”

During 2012 Danie’s brother, the late Raymond van Schoor, played for Stretford and took home a Stretford Cap and shirt which was placed in the family trophy cabinet. It was then Danie knew that he wanted to follow in his brothers footsteps.

“Raymond played for Stretford in 2012 and after that one of my biggest childhood dreams was to play for the Three Lions of Stretford. I always kept in contact the bloke where my brother stayed for that season because we had a few FIFA duels over the year. One day I received a mail from Stretford asking if I would play for them the following season . I could not believe it! I didn’t have to think twice because I had heard so many good things about Stretford from Raymond and Craig Williams who also played there. There is no doubt about it that my stint at Stretford was a major factor in helping me work towards my dreams of playing for my country”

Danie was not a seasoned traveller at the age of 19 and by his own admission struggled to get to grips with cricket in the first year

“There were many up and downs in the first season. My cricket did not go as well as I wanted but the experience was definitely worth it . Primarily I learned to be more independent and that nothing in life is given to you . Its essential to understand that you need to put your head down and work for success. At the age of 19 I did not know much about life but Stretford welcomed me with open arms and I am still grateful for all the effort of the members and families who looked after me.

Stretford CC today means still means so much to me; like a family. Two players who I played with have been to visit me in Namibia which I really appreciated . Stretford helped to make me into the person I am today and I would hope that others would describe me as a honest , hard working and caring person . Always willing to help and assist where I can ; that’s the Stretford way in my mind”

The popular off-spinner may not have accumulated as many runs or wickets as he would have liked but showed glimpses of real talent and leadership which he really demonstrated after he was signed for a second season

“I came over to Stretford for a second season and did much better after learning a lot in year one. Things had changed a bit at the club with some old players returning and the strength in depth increasing. We had a new captain and also a new Director of Cricket but the captain left the club due to personal reasons mid way through the season. Following a team meeting , Guy the Director, put his faith in the youngster from Namibia and appointed me captain. We went on a good run in the league winning 10 games on the bounce with all 11 players playing vital roles in achieving promotion which was secured in a brilliant victory away at West Leigh on the final day of the season. It was probably my favourite match for the club – luckily I managed to score a few runs and take a few wickets -but when we turned up at the ground in pouring rain we didn’t think we were going to play. We needed to play and win to finish in the promotion spots having worked hard in the 2nd half of the season to move up from mid table obscurity. The joy on the players faces when Alex took the winning catch was something I wont forget . Personally the season was much better and I managed to take over 30 wickets but it was a great season for the team and my cricket improved.”

“The time at Stretford were two of the best years of my life and playing cricket. I had got to watch city play football which was something I thought I’d only seen on TV. To experience the culture was so enlightening. I had a brilliant time in Manchester and a lot of it was down to the people there and I never forget to catch up with the special people at the club.”

Danie was a considerate and well respected overseas player who always wore his heart on his sleeve for the club and although now working in insurance as an assessor is still involved with the National team and playing for United Cricket Club in the Namibia Premier League. We hope that in the future he is able to visit us again.

Follow your dreams like Danie and join the club here