Welcome to our Christmas newsletter, wrapping up what has been an exciting 2018 for the club, bringing success on the field and the delivery of our new pavilion at Woodbridge Road.
Guildford Cricket Festival
We’re already set for a packed 2019, which will bring a bumper Guildford Festival in June 2019 when county champions Surrey will play first Somerset – who they trounced by an innings there last summer – from June 3-6 and then Yorkshire, from June 10-13.
It will be the first time since 1992 that the ground has hosted two County Championship matches, both likely to draw excellent crowds given Somerset finished second last year – albeit some distance behind Rory Burns’s champions – and Yorkshire have a great following wherever they play in the country.
This will also double the workload for our team of volunteers so anyone who can offer help, even if it is for a limited time, is asked to contact Justine McMillan at email@example.com.
Guildford Beer Festival
Just to ensure no one gets thirsty between the two matches, the Guildford Beer Festival will be staged at Woodbridge Road on Friday June 7 and Saturday June 8.
It will be the 10th anniversary of an event which has proved hugely important in the life of our club. Chad Murrin and his team are planning yet another superb occasion, with tickets going on sale early in the new year. You can keep up to date with developments via twitter at @GuildfordBeer.
New chairman’s message
At the autumn general meeting in October, Robert Charles stood down after seven years as chairman and was succeeded by James Geffen, who has had a long association with the club with his sons Freddie and Tom having made their way through the colts section to the senior teams.
He has sent this message to club members:
I feel very honoured and excited to have been elected as chairman.
Robert Charles has done a terrific job over many years and I am very grateful to take on the role with the club in such good shape. I will now do all I can to help the club develop and deliver our plans over the next few years.
Guildford are a highly successful club and our first team playing in the Surrey Championship Premier Division. We are successfully implementing a five-year cricket plan, we have a first-class ground, the new pavilion, a thriving junior section, a growing women’s section and we are the envy of other clubs in hosting first-class cricket.
Apart from ice hockey, this is the only professional sport played in Guildford and next year we have two matches. We are financially sound, benefit from an excellent commercial programme and have wonderfully active and committed volunteers.
Recent club planning discussions have highlighted where we would like to concentrate our efforts over the next few years. They are:
- Bring the four sections of the Club closer together – men, women, juniors and social, so we are ONE club.
- Increase the social activities of the club so everyone feels welcome and can enjoy themselves. We are particularly keen to involve our junior section parents.
- Make full use of our new pavilion.
- Constantly look to improve the playing, coaching and training experience for all.
- Look to develop our marketing and communications strategy to promote the club, enthuse members and attract new members and sponsors.
- Run a financially sound, safe and fun cricket club.
To do all of this we are always on the lookout for more volunteers. Our current need is for individuals to help develop the social side of the club and specialists in the fields of marketing and communications – PLEASE come forward!
In the meantime, if you have any ideas, concerns or observations please get in touch. This is your club and we want to continue to make it a great and fun place to be.
James Geffen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Captains for next year and nets dates
Tom Collins will lead the first team for his second season, having spearheaded Guildford’s immediate return to the Surrey Championship Premier Division. Chris Coombs continues in charge of the seconds, fresh from promotion last summer, while Cameron Green succeeds Tim Walter as third team skipper after they stormed to their league title.
James McMillan has been appointed captain of the Surrey Trust League U21 side, Matty Stephenson carrying on in charge of the U19s after they reached the county final. Rav Garcha will lead Guildford’s assault on the Surrey Slam.
Winter nets start for the first and second teams on Wednesday 9 January from 7pm at the Surrey Cricket Centre, with players for the third and fourth teams joining the action on 15 February.
Cricket Week – July 29 to August 2
Among the highlights of the last two seasons have been Cricket Week and mastermind Tim Walter has unveiled the programme for the third Woodbridge Road extravaganza, in the hope that we will be blessed with fine weather again.
It starts on Monday July 29 with a Surrey Trust League T20 match in the afternoon and a ladies T20 from 6pm. Tuesday July 30 features a 6-a-side competition – last year’s inaugural event was a great success – while Wednesday July 31, the centrepiece of the week, sees an all-day match against The Wanderers. The new month brings another all-day game for a combined second and third team against The Dolphins, while the week finishes with Junior Day on Friday August 2.
Chairman James Geffen is finalising a list of social events to run through 2019 and they will be announced in first newsletter of the new year.
Work has been going on through much of the autumn to replace the fencing on the Woodbridge Road side of the ground.
Junior winter training starts on February 3 and takes in eight consecutive Sundays until March 24.
It is being staged again at the Royal Grammar School Sports Hall, just off the High Street.
The programme each week will be:
- 12-1 Women and Girls
- 1-2 U6-8
- 2-3 U9-10
- 3-3.30 Break
- 3.30-5 U11-12
- 5-6.30 U13
- 6.30-8 U14-15
All abilities are welcome, with age calculated from 1 September, 2018.
There will also be three taster sessions for newcomers on 3,10 and 17 February, 2019.
More information is available from Matthew Finnegan at email@example.com.
U10s supremo Nick Gooding is already bubbling over with enthusiasm for the coming year and has sent this message:
U10 is the age group where hard-ball cricket is played for the first time in competitive games, so I imagine Santa’s sleigh may well be filled with pads and helmets etc. We have recently learned who will be our opponents in the West Surrey League next season. We shall be playing, home and away, against Blackheath, Cranleigh, Horsley & Send, Normandy and Wonersh & Shamley Green Juniors. So all local derbies and no more trips around the M25 for us in 2019.
We were very light on numbers in this age group last season and relied on players stepping up from the U8s. With this in mind, we are being proactive in recruiting new players aged 10 and under on September 1 2018. Anyone wishing to join in should contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting the ump
The Surrey Association of Cricket Officials are running a series of umpiring training courses during the spring months, including one at the Surrey Cricket Centre which stretches over two Saturday mornings (February 23 and March 2). More information is available via:
And finally …
Congratulations to one of the club’s most distinguished graduates, Ashley Giles, who has been appointed as the new managing director of England men’s cricket.
Ashley made his league debut for Guildford’s first team as a 14-year-old in 1987, his time at the club a launchpad for an illustrious career with Warwickshire and England, which included being an integral member of Michael Vaughan’s Ashes-winning team in 2005.
Since his early retirement from the game, having suffered a hip injury, he has enjoyed a successful coaching career with Warwickshire (in two spells), Lancashire and the England one-day side as well as being a national selector.
Club Sponsors, 2019