I have been a player and member of Ladock Cricket Club for some 14 years and it is a privilege and honour to take on the role of Chairman. 2014 was a disappointing year on the field, with the first XI succumbing to relegation and the second XI having a challenging year. However, as a result of the continuing hard work of the committee there are some promising developments within the club and we have a number of promising young players who I have no doubt will strengthen our performances on the field this season.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Taking a step back, the club is very well blessed. The hard work of our predecessor’s leaves is in good shape, we are fortunate enough to own our ground and therefore have no rent commitments. We have a well-constructed and functional pavilion and the club is free from debt. We are also very lucky to have a dedicated team of skilled people who provide us with a first class playing surface - week in, week out. Our thanks to Edward and Andrew Wakeley for their tireless efforts and the other volunteers who assist in jobs around the ground.
The club does have some strategic weaknesses; our ground is located outside the village envelope, which makes us slightly invisible to new players and supporters, we don’t benefit from passing footfall. Ladock is a small village in a large rural area, with a modest population and we are sandwiched between Grampound Road, and St Erme Cricket Clubs, which makes player recruitment a challenge.
Despite these challenges, the club, with the hard work of the captains, manages to sustain two senior teams and a Wednesday evening league team. The club’s reputation as offering a welcoming and friendly atmosphere is critical to our continued success and something we should be truly proud of and treasure. The effort and enthusiasm shown by our under 11’s team, thanks to the hard work of coaches Patrick Morgan, Mike Ellery and Rob Brown, is something on which we need to build.
The current financial position of the club sees us very much treading water. Club reserves are modest, but holding firm. The turnover of the club was down considerably on the previous year, with limited activity on fundraising and reduced income from sponsorship, these are all areas we all need to work on and address.
Taking into account the weaknesses of our club, I feel that youth development needs to be central to the strategy of the club and our key priority if the club is to have a long and successful future. We need to augment our youth development by adding an Under 15’s side to our established Under 11’s. This should give our young players a better development opportunity to be competing with peers rather than going from Under 11’s to full senior cricket.
If the club is going to provide a platform, for all our players - young and old, we need to invest heavily into our infrastructure. Therefore work on Fundraising, Social Events, Sponsorship and new income streams needs to be developed and put in place. The investment in key infrastructure such as practice nets and development of coaches, and other coaching equipment is costly but has been an area of under investment for our club.
Finally it goes without saying may I wish everyone a successful 2015 season – and I hope to see you benefitting from our new small beer fridge during the season for a drink or two.
LADOCK CRICKET CLUB CHAIRMAN