Last season was an important season of transition for us as we obtained new club sponsorship from Reynard Health through Robin Ferguson and for the junior section from Scott Clinic through Derek Goodison. We also had Brad Clarke bringing his expertise and enthusiasm into his new role as Premier Coach and we were excited at the prospect of having Grahame Tryon and Brad Schmullian as class cricketers to help develop the growing group of young talented cricketers that our club possesses. As it turned out we had a successful season on the playing field despite losing both Grahame to injury and Brad to regular CD call-ups for much of the season, and the club would like to take this opportunity to thank Jono Whitley for stepping up as acting captain for a large part of the season. Not only did our Premier side win the 55 over competition despite having the National Club champions in our league, but our Women won the Ladies Friday Evening Hawke’s Bay competition, we were regularly putting out 4 sides on Saturdays throughout the season and we had 4 women regularly playing in our men’s sides. We also saw the enthusiasm and numbers of junior cricket players increase through the dedication and excellent organisation of Steve Field which once more is making Havelock North Cricket Club a vibrant community club where local players should want to be and play their cricket.
Youth cricket is a key part of the development of our club. Havelock North Cricket Club have young women in Flora Devonshire, Sophia Pyott, Cate Pedersen and Margot Scoular all representing age groups at Hawke’s Bay and CD level. We also had key contributors at the National Under 19 Tournament with CD from Sam Ferguson and Harry Mowat and Bailey McDonald as a representative in the New Zealand Maori Under 19 cricket team. It was also a particularly special moment for the club to see that our club had two
representatives in the very talented young men of William Clarke and Joey Field who not only represented CD, but also went on to gain representative International honours for the New Zealand Under 19 team against Australia. There will not be many cricket clubs in New Zealand that can have boasted two players in the same team at such a high level. These young players have played for the club from early Primary school age and have truly moved through our junior and senior sections as well as their school and Hawke’s Bay Representative teams to their present honours. We will continue to watch their career development with interest and hope that they will be playing here for Havelock North Cricket Club at Anderson Park as often as they can. Having a clear playing pathway for our players through our full range of teams will remain a key part of our development plan. The success of so many of our young players shows that we must have been doing something right.
As well as the onfield achievements it is important for the club to recognise the work of the committee. At this AGM two long serving members are stepping down. Peter Young has been treasurer for a number of years and his banking expertise has been much appreciated. A major part of his role is to make charity grant applications. This is a meticulous, bureaucratic exercise and is increasingly frequently being met with rejections or minimal contributions. The club thanks him for his committed work. Kim Bone has also been an important member of the committee. Having coached junior teams for many years he then became heavily involved in recruitment of players and particularly in tapping into local businesses for club sponsorship through his contacts. He has also been a long term sponsor himself through his family company FLBone and we thank him for his work over many years on the committee and hope that Kim and Peter will remain as important supporters of the club. This is also a good time to thank Aaron Brittin for the work he has done as Club Manager over the last few years. Although Aaron is remaining on the committee he is relinquishing his managerial role. He has worked very hard and given up more than his fair share of evenings and Saturdays to open up the club rooms and cook sausages. Let us hope this may lead to some increased cricket playing availability from him. The work of the committee is vital and we need a balanced and focussed group of members to help develop the club, work with
our partners and secure a financial base that will allow us grow for the benefit of our Havelock North community. I believe we have that.
My own personal battle with the cricket authorities has been in trying to get recognition and support for the work we do. We are the only club that have women fully integrated into our senior sides, that openly attract school boys from schools who do not offer Saturday cricket and are attracting an increasing number of juniors to the club We are struggling to find sufficient coaches to support these growing numbers of players and as charity application income continues to diminish, through no fault of our own, we continually struggle financially without support from these authorities to pay affiliation fees, buy balls and equipment or obtain external coaching expertise. I am finding through my conversations with Hawke’s Bay Cricket, Central Districts Cricket and New Zealand Cricket that they don’t seem to be funding initiatives which directly support our immediate needs. Although we will continue to put pressure on these organisations to help us we must not allow this to distract from the successes that we are seeing with the growing collaboration between us and the Havelock North Rugby Club to improve our club room facility, discussions with Hastings District Council to improve our cricket playing facility and the NZ Cricket initiative through Hawke’s Bay Cricket to improve the coaching effectiveness of our volunteer managers and coaches.
We have another young Englishman coming over from England this summer and I am keen to continue to grow our partnership with our sister club St Lawrence and Highland Court in the UK. We have had HNCC players playing there for the last 3 years and plans are being finalised to continue that tradition next year. We are also planning a Havelock North Cricket Club tour there in July next year. So far we have the core of a very keen squad but still need more players to commit if the tour is certain to take place. It is an incredible place to tour and play cricket and I am hoping we can also learn some important lessons on how we can develop our club. This is truly an ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ as is not likely to be repeated in the foreseeable future.
I am excited about the future for this club providing we can continue to grow the club with community support. We are deeply grateful for our financial support from our sponsors but are still looking to increase other physical support from our social and playing members to reduce the heavy load on the few. All club members must go out and find more players, consider how we can offer our expertise and knowledge to the committee, support the club on 20/20 evenings, club nights and in our fundraising activities.
Thank you to all those that continue to give support to the club and let’s see if we can all be active in considering what more we can do and offer to the club to continue to grow this excellent Havelock North community cricket club.
Chairman Havelock North Cricket Club
Tuesday 10th September 2019.