Ripley 81 -10

Samad Nawaz 3-12

Andy Crawley 3-27

W&H 82-4

Jamie McMahon 37 no

Man of the match Jamie McMahon

This is my first communication since my appointment last November due to my poor command of the English language, as I'm sure you’ll find out!!  I have now come public as many of my statements or press conferences have been misconstrued through my interpreter Salam Zafar.  I will learn by mistakes!

It is a privilege and honour to undertake one of the highest roles in English cricket, if not world cricket.  Many legends such as Peter Smith and Paul Fortescue have served tea as W&H 3rd team captain in the clubs illustrious history. That will probably give you some scope of the icons at the club, if not they can. I must admit I was choked (or was that choking) when I was voted in to take the clubs new generation onto its next adventure.

However, what I wasn’t aware of at that time was the challenge that stood before me and the problems that ensued.  Firstly, there was the media hype, especially from boisterous local rags as to whether I should award the long standing servant John Dunbar his 100th cap for the club.  My major concern with JD was his continuing commitment as he had joined the ICPL (Ivory Coast Premier League).  I’ll be honest it is a concern of mine that JD was chasing the big bucks of the new overseas league and he would be missing important matches through our forthcoming campaign.

I was certainly not aware of the sobriety running rife in the club; it wasn’t like that in my day.  At my first training session Mark Worgan was causing me anguish, it didn’t seem right, I could see it in his eyes, he hadn’t touched a drop for days, I thought to myself this lad is going to hurt himself.  I immediately took him aside and shoved some after shocks down him, sent him packing until the next training session and told him I never want to see him in that condition again.  This was a serious ginge drinking problem.

If that wasn’t bad enough I caught the Bennett Boys, Sam Way, John Hargan and Imran Tehal binging on cans of Tizer and Coke.  I was furious when I found out they were diet.  Frankly, I was disgusted, there was a serious drinking problem in the club and sooner we got James Woods back from our training centre in Loughborough and showed the power of the Stella the better.  These youngsters could learn a lot from the old guard like Matt Allan where a proper warm session constituted a can of the finest super strength lager and a packet fags.  This was true professionalism unlike the modern myth of stretching; you could pull muscle if you’re not careful. I’ve not heard anyone pull up lame by opening a bottle of Cardinal Gold? Never did Charlie Johnson any harm (maybe he did to others, but not himself!).

Talking about the old guard, another issue was the batsman/keeper scenario.  Do we pick the best keeper, a batsman that can run quickly after the ball after he’s missed it behind the stumps or stack of jumpers or caps?  Don’t think club has replaced Peter Allan yet!!

I couldn’t believe shortly after my appointment the review of my position as the club decided they wanted to put a new coach in place.  What was wrong with Clive Moon’s 4x4 he could fit quite few colts into that car?  Also, the club wasn’t showing me any faith, who in the clubs history has won the Carnival trophy (1999) and taken the boys in 2006 to the semis of the Frank Spencer league, that’s gratitude for you!

Central contracts loomed high on my agenda.  Did I really want to put Neil Cheetham or Gihan Thabrew on such a contract, probably not, with possible sporadic availability this year?  Could the club really afford to pull them out of playing cricket in their back garden with their kids when they won’t playing enough anyway?  What’s wrong with the modern cricketer, I used to go back to 3rd team cricket between tests, load of nancys these days.

I look forward to the challenge ahead and wish to recreate the open top mini scenes through Horsell and the tic a tape reception at Horsell Parish Hall, when we won the Carnival Trophy. Some say its Horsell proudest day in its history.  Rumour has it, that was the day Des Cooke decided to join the fuzz when saw the boys in blue holding back the thousand of well wishers in the town.  Fine memories, bring some more on and lets have it gentlemen for 2008.


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