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It is with great sadness that former North-West Cricket Union Secretary Jim Lindsay died after illness for some time. He succeeded the late Jim Simpson after he moved to Chairman, and between the two they formed a strong allegiance. Jim Lindsay was often the quiet man behind the scene in his Secretary's role, but he often combined with Treasurer and PRO. He was a great servant of North-West cricket and was much admired for his efficient and unassuming approach to the game. He donned many roles, and when we travelled to North-West Annual Dinners, he was the first to greet us with a big beaming smile. He was a lovely man and a pleasure to be with him.
Our condolences to the family.
Rest in Peace Jim.
Andy McCrea to take up new NCU Coaches Mentor Role
Andy McCrea has agreed to take up a role as ‘Coach Mentor’ to support the growing number of regional and club coaches involved within the NCU. The NCU regional programme now has player development programmes running all year round, with Coaching Camps open to all Clubs running from October to December each year, as well as Performance and Development squads training year round. Last summer, the NCU had over 50 match days across its youth programme, both boys and girls and this number of match days is due to grow again this summer.
The expansion of player development programmes has also required more coaches to support delivery of those programmes. During the Winter Regional Coaching Camps, there were over 30 club coaches involved and this growing number has resulted in the NCU to ask Andy McCrea to undertake this new role, in order to also support coach development through NCU programmes.
Speaking on this new role, Angela Platt, NCU General Manager, said ‘With such growth in coaching numbers and players participating in NCU programmes, we all understand the importance of supporting the development of our growing band of coaches, as well as our players. Andy McCrea has significant experience as a coach educator having been involved with Cricket Ireland Coach Education for over 15 years. As a qualified ECB Level 3 coach Andy has already been working with coaches in their activities and assessment across a wide spectrum of qualifications from ‘Welcome to Cricket’ to ECB Level 2 and 3. Andy has also been a representative coach for over 25 years and has been lead coach with the NCU Boys U11 Performance squad in its current format for over 6 years. We look forward to seeing the positive impact Andy will have through this important role, supporting the development of coaches across the NCU regional programmes.’
Cricket Ireland have recently facilitated an ECB Level 2 course within the NCU region and through Department for Communities investment, the NCU have also been able to host Masterclass Coaching workshops from renowned Level 4 coaches, which our regional and club coaches were invited to attend.
Some of our learning from the recent coach development visit to Surrey CCC highlighted the importance of continuing develop and upskill our regional coaches and enable them to share this knowledge back at their clubs.
Simon Johnston, NCU Pathway Coach, has established methods for knowledge sharing of coach development resources through Dropbox folders and Whats App groups. This enables wider sharing of information and knowledge across the broader coaching group. It has also been great to see some coaches adding material here also as we share knowledge to a wider audience.
Andy’s role will be to provide support to the development of budding coaches, sharing best practice and act as a sounding board for Lead and Assistant coaches across all NCU programmes.
Andy McCrea, commenting on this new role, said ‘I think it’s a superb step in the right direction for the NCU to be investing resources in their coaching workforce and I really am looking forward to working with all the coaches across all the environments. I see this Coach Mentor role as an opportunity to reassure the coaches and the NCU of all the good work that is going on yet also providing challenge and opportunity for coaches to keep developing their skills and the product they provide which will ultimately enhance the players progression.’
In order to focus fully on the Coach Mentor role Andy is coming out of his existing role as Lead Coach for NCU U11 Boys Programme. However, the NCU is delighted that Steven Crothers has agreed to take over the Lead Coach role.
Good luck Andy. Excellent appointment.
If you had to travel from the Craigavon area to Carrickfergus for a midweek match with a 18:30 start, what time would you have to leave at to get to the game on time? I reckon from Portadown it would be leave at or before 5pm and hope that you make it there on time.
The border league is set to play their midweek competition in two pools this season. Three or perhaps four teams (entries are not closed yet) in each pool means that no team will have to travel more than 10 odds miles to an away match. The play offs and final notwithstanding.
It means something when a half dozen cricket clubs in a land packed with layers of governing bodies, cricket development and management personnel has to step outside and arrange their own competition.
Re: SEC 3.
That old proposal for an invitational league that was rubbished so condescendingly from various quarters might have helped this little situation to resolve.
The former Cregagh and Collegians cricketer Gordon Bell has sadly passed away. Gordon played over 30 years for Collegians as an opening batsman and slow bowler. He helped to introduce dozens of young cricketers to Senior Cricket and was a mentor to many in a quiet, unassuming way.
He was on the NCU Grounds Committee for many years and, with his great friend the late Beattie Arlow, brought the ground at Deramore up to Interprovincial standard.
RIP Gordon, a true Gentleman of the sport.
Very sad. Lovely man. I met and played with him many times and always found him an easy-going personality with charm. Something we don't often find in current club cricket. A stalwart of Collegians CC and as Peter says, 'a true Centleman.'
Andy, we at Victoria have suggested exactly that. Unfortunately, 10 games are not enough to keep people interested throughout a season, nor is bulking up the season with T20 games. 15 games is difficult for clubs in Section 3.
An amalgamation of Section 2 and 3 is an idea that is doing the rounds, but when this was done before, it left teams at the bottom facing some demoralizingly one sided games. If we are looking to encourage people to continue with what is a minority sport in Ireland, mismatches will have the opposite effect for many.
“Imaginative”, “innovative” - not words that spring to mind in the same sentence as NCU! But perhaps the highly paid full-time officers will surprise us!! What about “home and away’ (10 games) then a division into two 3s like the Irish League would mean 14 games? I really should get out more!! Best wishes to all at UC for 2020!
I see that with the amalgamation of Drumaness & Belfast Super Kings there will be 6 teams in Section 3. It will be interesting to see how imaginative or inventive the powers-that-be will be in sorting out that one. I don't see a "10 game" season as being conducive to developing cricket but I await with interest to see how this pans out
Could be a 15 series ie; 3 x 5. Not inventive or imaginitive but creative.
Follow this space for creative thinkking at the UC. LOL
Happy New Year Andy.
UC Christmas Quiz.
You have only two weeks to respond as Saturday 18 Jan ends.
Send any answers as you could be the winner!
Read Editor Clarence Hiles preview of the Ireland tour to the West Indies in January in our Features section now.
The annual Ulster Grasshoppers CC dinner is booked for the 29th February 2020.
Crowne Plaza Shaws Bridge
Dress Code: Shirt and tie
Speakers: Sam Beckett & Paul Stafford
In recent times, the dinner has been a great success and non members are more than welcome to attend.
Anyone that would like to attend please free to contact me on email@example.com
The big question is...will Staffy sing?
Delighted to announce Cleaver Black as a new advertiser on the site. You will all know Philip Black, a Principal in the Company - Philip is President elect of Cricket Ireland and a well respected member of CSNI CC.
Cleaver Black are a firm of chartered accountants and Registered Auditors formed in 1986. Full details can be found in the business section of the site.
Feel free to get in contact Cleaver Black to arrange a free consultation to discuss their services.
E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 028 9032 2904
Andrew White NCU Cricket Academy 2019 - 2020
The Andrew White NCU Cricket Academy is now an established part of the cricketing education of young players within the Northern Cricket Union (NCU), with sixteen cricketers making up the 2019-20 Academy. Selection was based on players who fall in the 12 to 15 age range, who have been identified as having the potential to play at national level and begin to challenge them in a more testing environment.
2019-2020 Andre White NCU Cricket Academy
• Mohammed Aahil (CSNI)
• Sam Allister (Waringstown)
• Ashton Clark (Carrickfergus)
• Tom Crothers (Instonians)
• Harry Dyer (CSNI)
• Rory Ellerby (Instonians)
• Ryan Hunter (CSNI)
• David Kane (Templepatrick)
• Adam Leckey (CSNI)
• Finn Lutton (Templepatrick)
• Ryan Matthews (Donacloney Mill)
• Ben McCausland (Instonians)
• Carson McCullough (CIYMS)
• Max Shannon (Cregagh)
• Sam Topping (Waringstown)
• James West (CSNI)
Aims of the Andrew White NCU Cricket Academy
• To select players in the 12 to 15 age range, who have been identified as having the potential to play at national level and begin to challenge them in a more intense and focused environment.
• To help prepare the selected players so that they have a greater chance of success at national level through innovative coaching strategies.
• To successfully develop an athlete centred programme that will lay the foundations to enable our cricketers:
- to develop the necessary core skills to be competitive;
- to create a culture of excellence and to excel in years to come at national level.
Andrew White NCU Cricket Academy Programme
The NCU has reviewed the past four years of the Andrew White NCU Cricket Academy Programme and have extended its duration, increased the amount of contact time with coaches, tutors and mentors, included transferable skill workshops and specialist skills workshops delivered by ECB Level 4 coaches.
These sessions will run primarily on Friday nights at the Ulster University, Jordanstown, in February and March 2020. In addition, the NCU has partnered with the Department for Communities who are supporting the delivery of Specialist Skills Workshop. As well as the support from the Department for Communities, the NCU is offering Transferable Skills Workshops, Academy Clothing, and cost free Winter RDS Programme.
The NCU is exploring the possibility of a training tour to La Manga during the February half term holidays for three days.
• Sunday 8th December 2019 @ Ulster University Sports Centre (1pm to 3pm) - Fielding Workshop facilitated by Steven Croft (Lancashire CCC)
• Sunday 15th December 2019@ Ulster University Sports Centre (1pm to 3pm) - Batting against Spin Workshop facilitated by Matt Spriegel (Surrey CCC)
Andrew White said, 'The Academy has developed over the last number of years into a really important part of the NCU youth development pathway. We continue to strive to deliver a high quality programme for our young players and having Simon Johnston as the Head Coach is a key aspect of this. I look forward to witnessing the players grow, not only as cricketers but also as individuals through the different challenges set.’
Ed - Congratulations to all the boys selected. It's great to see the Academy continue to grow from strength to strength each year
The Annual Ulster Grasshoppers CC dinner is scheduled for:
29th February 2020 (it was originally January but the venue had double booked) at Crowne Plaza Shaws Bridge at 6-30pm.
Paul Stafford and Sam Beckett will be the Speakers.
If you could let me know if you are free to attend that would be great.
T: 02890 328076
Ed - always a good night and Staffy and Slamming Sam should be good as well.
Just a note to say that the Club Facilities Grant is now open for applications and Cartwrights Sports would be delighted to provide Clubs with competitive quotes if they are going to apply for this grant.
All Clubs who obtain a quote and finalise business with Cartwrights Sports will be entered into a draw and the winning Club will receive £100 worth of cricket balls for the 2020 season.
Full details can be found in the article in the Features section of the Ulster Cricketer website.