Royston Cricket Club - season preview

Club captain Martin Leary shares his thoughts ahead of the new campaign

Season Preview/Introduction – by Martin Leary

It doesn’t really seem that long ago since last season was drawing to a close, yet here we are again, at the start of a new summer for Royston CC, one that will bring lots of cricket whilst hopefully delivering as much entertainment and success as last season. For last season the club enjoyed its second promotion in successive years, and on the way to this promotion and league title, much hard fought cricket was played and many outstanding personal performances were witnessed.

This season playing in Cambridgeshire League Junior 2C, Royston will field one Saturday side and one Sunday side, the latter being focused on building the bridge between youth cricket and adult cricket, making that rather daunting transition all the more easier for upcoming young talents.

Additionally it will act as a means of ensuring that everyone always gets a game every weekend, for if someone misses out on being selected for Saturday’s match for example, then they will still get a match on the Sunday the next day.

Royston CC is still at a rebuilding stage, since last season the decision was made to pull the then 1st XI out from their respective league, and merge it with the 2nd XI, thus creating one team.

The reason for doing this was simply due to a lack of players to be able to consistently put out two sides every Saturday and as the majority of the 2nd XI were youth players, this meant that the better of the two teams had to fold, or else we would have faced a situation where we would be putting out a team of youngsters playing at a standard and in a league that was of an unrealistic standard in relation to their ability. This has certainly turned out to be the correct decision as the newly formed Royston side, with a perfect mixture of old 1st XI players and youth from the old 2nd XI, went on to win the league and consequently achieve promotion.

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In terms of players for this season, the side has not really changed at all apart for one exception. Paul Harris, last year’s skipper and the old 2nd XI captain before that, has unfortunately suffered a rather nasty shoulder dislocation meaning that he is out for the season most probably.

Naturally this is bad news for him and the club, Paul being a great talent and a presence on the pitch that will be greatly missed this season. We wish him a speedy recovery process and hopefully we’ll still see him up at the games supporting!

Paul’s absence has thus called for a new captain to be appointed in his place and the club committee decided that that honour should fall to me. I happily accepted the job and so now here I am with rather a lot more responsibility and a much greater number of things to organise than I had initially foreseen for this season. It will be somewhat of a challenge, however I feel up to the task and with the support of the rest of the committee and my fellow players, I’m sure I can do a sufficient job in Paul’s place.

One thing that really excites me for this coming season is the hope of retaining the brilliant team spirit and the positive winning attitude, two things that were prevalent throughout last season and were almost definitely the foundations on which our successful season was built. As I have already briefly mentioned, there is a good combination within the side of experienced heads from the old 1st XI and youthful enthusiasm from the old 2nd XI, and the two together, certainly during last season at any rate, made for a pretty effective team and one of a decent standard.

This season will be kicking off with a Club Open Day on Saturday 30th April up at Therfield. The day will start at 10am and then a youth match at 10.30am. All the information you might want will be available, along with a barbecue, a kit sale, and then followed by Royston’s pre-season friendly against Barley, starting at 1.30pm.

At this point, it would be remiss of me not to quickly mention the thriving youth setup we have at Royston. This season we will be running four sides, these being Under 11’s, Under 12’s, Under 13’s and Under 15’s, all of which have managers and fully qualified and CRB checked coaches. We are always looking for new players of all ages and of all abilities so do not hesitate to get in touch. We are running weekly youth cricket training sessions on Sunday mornings from 10am at Meridian School from 8th May. For more details regarding youth cricket, contact David May (01763 246396) or for details regarding senior cricket, contact Martin Leary (01462 742115).

Alternatively, all with an interest are welcome to come along to the Club Open Day as mentioned above. Best wishes to everyone for the season, and let’s hope it’s another good one for Royston!