AJ Newsletter December 2017

AJ Newsletter December 2017


After England were defeated by Australia on home soil for the first time in 1882, a satirical obituary written in the media said that English cricket had died. One hundred and thirty five years later and we are in the midst of watching Joe Root captaining the team in one of the most famous sporting battles worldwide. Not dead yet, then! Not quite anyway! England fought hard in the 2nd test and showed that they have a chance to create history in Perth.

I have become very nocturnal watching the Ashes and with exciting Test Cricket like this in winter, it keeps cricket at the forefront of our minds and encourages children to watch and continue to play, albeit indoors.

Cricket has also been very much alive and well here, post season. Our Autumn Academy has been a huge success and the children are training very hard and making great progress. Building on that success during the winter and into next year is now our primary focus.

The belief that we must adapt and improve, if cricket is to thrive and we are to continue to produce good young cricketers in future, is central to our strategy for 2018. With this in mind – I am planning on introducing some exciting new changes…

So what’s new? Thanks to the ongoing vision of the AJ “think tank”, we now have a concrete strategy.

  • We have launched our new under 5s Mini Cricketers Programme that will be in line with my ethos of starting children early when it comes to developing cricket skills. 


  • Exciting times have also only just begun for women’s cricket and with this in mind we are pleased to announce that we are expanding the club with the launch of a girls cricket team this summer.


  • We have entered FOUR teams this year for the NEC league, Under 8s, Under 9s, Under 10s and Under 12s.  The Academy was a huge success last year and we are hoping to achieve similar results. 


  • I would like to thank my 2018 team Managers who have stepped in already and are volunteering their time. Guy Millard and Brendan Smyth for the Under 8s, Scott Hammond and Alan Burke for the under 10s and Simon Ranyard for the Under 12s. The Under 9s will have myself, unless a Parent would like to offer any additional support within that age group.


  • We would also like to congratulate the following boys who have been selected for the Surrey CCC Performance Squad 2018. Under 10s: Jack Harris, Hugo Parkins Godwin, Harry Hammond, Rohan Prabhudesai, Isaac Robinson, Roshan Ramaiya, Freddie Johnson,Tanush Malhotra, Ollie Burke and for the U11s, Benedict Hunter. Your dedication and hard work has truly paid off. Well done, boys! AJ has another 10-12 boys who have great potential to be selected for the district and county squads next year. Keep working hard boys!


  • We are finally moving forward with our talks with Merton Council for a cricket ground. There are now a few options to investigate. One option we are considering and in serious talks with is Sutton Recreation Ground. This will offer us a great training facility and we can host teams for matches here. Negotiations are still ongoing but I will update you soon. In the meantime, we will continue with Dundonald Park as normal.


  • I am hugely excited to announce that we are also in the planning stages of hosting a cricket festival against other clubs in the vicinity. Dates, venue and details to be confirmed. Watch this space!


  • London Youth Games Cricket is looking for U13 cricketers to trial out for the Merton team. Practice / Trials to be held on Wednesday 13th December and Monday 18th December. Please email me if you are interested in this. 

We are really keen to provide high quality coaching for all our junior members. We want to give all of our young players the opportunity to develop their skills and then apply them in match play scenarios. We have a vision that ALL our junior players, whatever their level of ability can get enjoyment and fulfillment from cricket, not just for a few years but into their adult life as well.

I would also like to stress that it’s amazing to win matches but it’s not solely what we are striving to do. It is more about development of the individual player from start to finish and being part of a community club. We are offering every player the achievement cards to identify areas for development. Every member must bring these to the sessions. Training and practice standards are the same for everyone and we try to provide the same level of coaching for everyone. The league teams are selected on merit and we have to pick those who are achieving the standards in training. We will also be entering friendly matches against all clubs that will help to make sure that everybody can at least have experience of playing in a match.

We welcome Parents to all training and competitions and value your support. If you are keen to volunteer, please do get in touch. Both Rebecca Stephenson and myself are now qualified to undertake the DBS vetting checks.

As you can see, English cricket is far from dead and there is so much to look forward to. I will end here by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2018. Have a well-deserved rest and I do hope that Santa puts in some cricket related items in your child’s stocking!






Dates for your Diary for the Spring Academy:

2018 Spring Cricket Sessions at Richard Challoner School
Saturday 20th January –Saturday 31st March 2018 (no session on 10th February)
U6 – U9 – 10am TO 11:30am
U10 – U13 – 11:30am – 1pm

2018 U9 – U14 Spring Cricket sessions at Wimbledon College School
Saturday 13th January – 31st March 2018 (no session on 7th February)
3:30pm – 5pm

2018 Spring U8&9 Girls and Boys sessions at Wimbledon College School
Wednesday 10th January – 28th March 2018 (no session on 7th February)
5:30pm – 7pm

2018 Spring U10, 11, 12, &13 sessions at Wimbledon College School
Wednesday 10th January – 28th March 2018 (no session on 7thFebruary)
7pm – 8:30pm

2018 Spring U5 cricket sessions at Wimbledon College School
Saturday 13th January – 31st March 2018 (no session on 3rd February)
9:15am – 10am and 10:15am – 11am