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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Just Six Weeks of your Life

After a weekend that saw the entire Club brought back to earth from the air of regency it was holding itself in, the time for affirmative action has surely come in an attempt to halt the slide which all Grades find themselves in - once again, in the second half of a cricket season.

Since the Christmas break, Kiama’s 1st Grade side have now lost five players from its first-choice XI – Mitch Gowland (transferred to Sydney), Josh Jones (returned to study in Tasmania), Tim Davies (injured in car accident), Sam Wolf (stress fractures of the back) and Rob Farrell (transferred for work to L.A.). To that list you can also add Josh Elliott, as he is now out until the finals with work and rugby league commitments. Not only does this affect 1st Grade, it affects the lower grades, and hurts the depth of the Club.
Halfway through November, Shellharbour City lost five of its first-choice players through a different set of circumstances. Since that point, they have lost all of their one-day matches and all of their two-day matches by an outright decision, two of those in one day. It has been a test of their Club’s depth that they have been unable to answer. Results in January and February suggest that our Club is in an awfully similar position.
There has been a long held fear at Kiama that as a Club we are proficient at producing players of 3rd and 2nd Grade standard (and as such the reason that we figure almost annually in the finals of these competitions), but are unable to develop these players into a 1st Grade standard that would enable us to compete with the top echelon in our competition. It hasn’t helped much in the way of premierships in any of these Grades. We have never secured a 3rd Grade premiership. We have an empty 1st Grade cabinet since 1983-84. Of 2nd Grade’s two premierships since 1978, one was with a side that was devoid of a team in the 1st Grade competition.
To those outside of the process, it is baffling to see 2nd Grade’s best player all season not playing in the top Grade. Mick Norris has taken 28 wickets at 8.89 in 2nd Grade this season, alongside 113 runs at 18.83. Add to this his one game in 1st Grade against Warilla – 35 not out and 2/44 off 10 overs – and you have a standout season. Figures do NOT always accurately portray the form or ability of a player. In this case, they are the bald-faced facts.
No doubt the captain has his plan, and it is not for me to question it in this forum. I merely point out that 1sts have a very good and capable player waiting in the wings should it be deemed necessary to find one.

I would like to think that the players chosen for the remainder of the season can lift themselves and their teams to the heights required to win. Enough of the bickering. Enough of the negativity. We are supposed to be the friendly Club, the Club that bands together as one, and supports one and all – rain, hail or shine. It’s time for that attitude to rise to the surface once again.
Some changes to our structure as a Club probably need to occur, but that is something to address in the off-season. Let’s get out there and encourage one another, within our team and to all our other teams. We have a real chance at something special this season, if we can all pull our fingers out and get serious about the job at hand. It would be a real shame to look back in years to come, as we do in regards to recent seasons, and say “Geez we should have won that year…” Let’s just win this year instead!

C’mon Kiama. Let’s make the last six weeks of this competition ours, in all Grades. Just six weeks of your life to get the best out of yourself so that the Club can once again be called The Best On The South Coast.

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