SATURDAY 1ST XI PREVIEW OF 2003
by Simon Vicos
Last summer bought us many things, a World Cup, a new drinking game, a higher standard of cricket, the weekly madcap instalments of Couch, a new barbecue, but also sadly a fire, which gutted the clubhouse on the eve of the last day of the season. And if that wasn’t enough, a few weeks later a further fire destroyed the scorebox. As with all other seasons it flew by and as the sun set over Brewery Road after the Brook game we all wondered how the next 33 weeks would be filled.
There may have been inactivity on the field, but many people have spent the winter working furiously behind the scenes to ensure that not only is the coming season a successful one but also an enjoyable one. The changing rooms have been refurbished and a new scorebox has been installed. We have an overseas player for the first time in 2 years as through many peoples hard work we have secured the services of Ross Morley (Glenn’s “little” brother) and Quaggy has returned (although probably not as good as the old Quaggy). Ross was recently introduced to the delights of Woking at night and after playing a few encouraging early shots he seemed to tire a bit (we’ll put it down to jet lag). I would imagine once he picks up the pace he’ll be as useless on a Sunday as the rest of us.
The bar, as always will be healthily stocked with Aftershock and Stella should anybody feel the need to spend Sunday face down on the Sofa before going to collect their car at 4pm. Des is now bar guru having overthrown Minge in a bloody coup. I would imagine Des would have moved swiftly to sort out the collapsing fridge as he was a big fan of the way Windy ran the show. Hopefully Des will bring stability back to a rather turbulent passage in the bar’s life (Minge’s term having been littered with break-ins, fires etc). Obviously now Minge, free from the shackles of responsibility, will be perving more than ever while sporting this years latest selection of finest silk garments.
Minge “Just having a look”
On the cricketing side of things, having finished a very creditable 6th last time round, this season we must be looking for promotion. With the quality we have on offer we must surely be in with a very good chance, however, this year we won’t be the surprise package and the other sides will know more about us. There are some good sides in this division and we’ll need to up our performance levels to do well again.
Last season was littered with painful to watch batting collapses so hopefully having strengthened the batting line up a bit we should be able to post a few 200 plus scores to attack. The bowling last season was superb, Without a fit Morlers and being Couchless all year, the burden was mostly put upon Glenn, Dikko and Damo. They responded magnificently and bagged 99 wickets between them out of a total of 141. Hopefully Ross and Quaggy will lighten the load for them this season. The fielding was good last year, whoever said “catches win matches” was right, they do and so it proved on many occasions, more of the same please lads.
So, who are the main movers and shakers going to be this year?
The W&HCC Pavilion Mentallists, proudly present to you:
Richard Walsh (First 11 Skipper)
Motivational Captain with suicidal drinking habits. What else can I say?, well how about score some runs this season, and can we have a bit less of the aimless waft that you are so fond of!. That apart, his teamtalks are something to behold (especially if you have decided to decorate rather than play the previous week) and his record as skipper speaks for itself, although he does like to remind you of it sometimes. Richard now has the players he wanted, can he deliver some silverware to the adoring legions of fans?
Glenn Morley (Last Years Player of the year)
600 runs and 40 wickets wasn’t too shabby a return for Glenn. No-one else ever got near his level of performance and more of the same would do very nicely indeed. With more back-up Glenn will hopefully be able to cut loose a bit more rather than drop anchor as he had to do a few too many times last summer. Off the field Glenn’s major talent is binge drinking, ringing people at 3am and offering pearls of wisdom before spending Sunday crashed out in your spare room.
Glenn playing yet another attacking shot
Morlers used to play cricket to a reasonable standard (although we are awaiting documentary evidence), and as such is a big fish (bug fush) in the pond of W&H. It remains to be seen whether he is an even bugger fush this year, but much of this will depend on the intensive fitness campaign he has been pushing himself through in the winter. Morlers contributes to the team in many ways, sometimes bowling as many as 3 overs and occasionally getting a bat (only to be distracted by the honking of car horns). His slip fielding is exceptional in that it is unlike any one else's that we have seen. An excellent all round performer on and off the park.
This is a big year for Toby, last season he was thrown in at the deep end many times and more often than not he produced the goods. Not a spectacular crash bang wallop merchant but plays in a patient controlled way and is the least likely of all the side to go in the head and get himself out. A player of undoubted ability and temperament, I hope Toby will be keen to prove me right this season. In the field, he is another with very safe hands and never lets us down. However, it’s not all good, as Toby’s after match boozing is quite frankly pathetic and he would struggle in a head to head with Erica.
“Neo” would be the first to admit he had a poor season last year. Often guilty of giving opposition batsmen some of the biggest whittle in the field and even more guilty than most of getting himself out after a good start. Has been telling me for some time now that he’s going to score some runs this season, Regan is probably one of the keenest blokes I’ve ever met, It wouldn’t surprise me if he went to bed each night fully padded up, with lid and gloves on “just in case”.
“Hmmmm, would Kath mind if I buy another 5 bats this weekend”
Wicketkeeper Giles Green is an integral part of the W&H wicket taking machine - no batsman can concentrate with the constant clashing of cymbals and the off putting friendly chat in between balls. While he will take some incredible catches this year, they are unlikely to be given out unless the rest of the team appeals on his behalf as he's a bit shy. When we play poorly this year, Giles will have to bat. This is not good.
Off the field and in the showers, Giles is a really big member of the squad. He also likes drinking and dressing like his brother and Worzel Gummidge. I blame the parents, I really do!
“Quaggy” returns to the fold fresh from his stint in the local parks spent bashing a tennis ball about and shouting “IN” at the end of each run. A lot of expected of him this year, the old Quaggy would certainly have delivered !. The old Quaggy was always seen ordering "sux bucks" will the new Quaggy be seen after dark?
Ross makes up the Kiwi trio, according to his brother, Ross is a very talented batsmen and also bowls left arm quick. His hobbies would seem to be drinking and bowling short ones at pretty boy batsmen! (stay away from nets Ben) Welcome aboard Ross, we hope you enjoy the W&H experience. We’ll send you home two stone heavier if nothing else.
“Gibbers” has the ability to grind runs out. Often heard shouting “no” before he plays the shot, he managed to bore the pants off us last year with some of his innings but made up for it on the last day of the season with a tremendous knock against Brook, straight in the middle of his forehead!, Occasional off spin merchant and even more occasional shambling midnight wreck.
Damo takes on additional responsibilty this year”. Our new Cricket Chairman has been working very hard all winter to ensure the rest of us enjoy the summer. There is simply no end to this mans efforts for the club and quite recently he was seen wandering the streets of Hamburg looking for new “talent”. Eats, sleeps and breathes cricket , well eats, sleeps and breathes to be exact. Damo started well last season and was leading the wicket taking charts for two months, his 31 wickets at 16 apiece were a fitting reward to his application. All he needs to do this year is add another 10 wickets to last years return and learn to avoid the sniper in the trees who regularly pins him when he is required to act in the field.
Damo “refuelling after another hard day in the field”
Affectionately known as the Human Dog, unaffectionately known as Soft c*ck, pea heart and tramp. With his elegant style he has the potential to be Woking's answer to Michael Vaughan, unfortunately his Friday nights out make him more like Woking's answer to Michael Slater. One day he will score half of the 1000 runs that he drunkenly promises Walshy he is going to get at the start of every season but needs to apply himself more. Oh and get rid of that horrible shot that gets him out every week. Toby is also a big fan of “the £8 shower”
“Minge” as he is known throughout Surrey has been unlucky over the last two seasons, he has been known to suffer from a multitude of injuries such as broken fingers, hurt feelings, collapsed fridge and scorched clubhouse. Single handedly responsible for an eighties fashion revival in the Woking Area. One of the best fielders in the club, Minge has safe hands as Wearney will testify.
It is no coincidence that when Dikko went off to play golf, the first teams results went to pot. Belies his status as the elder statesman and also his nickname of "Belly" to bowl superbly and consistently at albeit a slightly more medium pace than in the past.
Boy can this boy hit a ball as well and not just off a tee. Has won games almost single-handedly in the past - hopefully wont have to this year. But dont be surprised if he gives the Morley twins a run for their money at the top of both averages.
Go easy on "Dad" at fines this year - he's had a tough six months.
Finally look forward to his mid-season party although be warned best to book early if you dont want to miss out
If only Callaway made Cricket Bats, you can just imagine Dikko blasting the ball into Knaphill with his “Big Belly” !
Yes I know he looks like someone’s dad, but this man wins games….honest !
The Pavillion Mentallists
Not quite Barmy or an Army, but a vital ingredient to any matchday. Most likely to be found lounging in the sun with a cold beer admiring the efforts of WHCC’s 1st 11. This season shall be no different, unless it rains, then we shall be inside, not too far from the Aftershock.
“This man’s Fridge is shit”
So there you have it, we’ve had a bit of banter, had a few drinks and whittled a whole lot over the last 33 weeks. Now it’s the turn of the players of Woking & Horsell to step up and do what they do. The rest of us can only watch, encourage and hopefully applaud.
Enjoy the summer, and as usual the bar will be open all day at every first team home game. Look forward to seeing as many of you down there as possible.
Now lets “Get amongst it”