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New book for the Christmas shelves just out;
"Raiders of the North-West"
by Glen Dermott
Plenty of questions to ask right now.
What's happening at North Down?
How can Glendermott actually entice players away from the best club in Ulster or is it just the money?
At least they have a strong enough squad to replace the defectors or will we see a few recruits?
All this talk about ticket prices is a load of nonsense. Apart from the test nations you could let everyone in free at the Ireland games in the north and the crowd wouldn't be much bigger.
That said, fee admission for school parties at all games should be instigated immediately. Empty grounds do nothing for the players.
Excellent comments Paul....the Clubs could be doing more to encourage support for these matches and generally the marketing and PR is poor..
Liam on ticket prices what about pegging them at 10 euro for adults for any match and 5 euro for the lesser games? Kids get in for 1 euro and school parties free?
Seating is poor at most grounds but an extra charge to sit in nicer seats once you have admittance is not a burden to most people.
Clubs should be encouraged to support matches and ticket sales through clubs could be discounted or offered with commission.
Once in the ground free draws for giveaways and entertainment would help. Music is better than a boring MC albeit there is a role for both. Showcasing kids cricket between innings looks good but doesn't put bums in seats.
Paul,in the next issue of Cover Point we will be examining what can be done to get more "bums on seats"....
Any ideas are more than welcome...
I agree one/two non-ODI matches should go to the NW until Bready is ready.
I agree with better marketing Liam but outside dropping the ticket prices and getting more publicity what can be done? The ticket prices are certainly way over the top for a cricket following that has been nurtured on low admission fees or in most cases passing the box round. Not all the Ireland matches are ODIs so keep the big games for Clontarf and spread the others up north. If the northern unions (the clubs control the unions) give the Ireland games little support they can't expect to host the big games.
Paul Hatton and Clontarf
Hosting all matches at Clontarf is not the answer to the small attendances
The attendances at Clontarf were abysmal apart from the WI game this summer.
In addition, there are only 2 qualifying grounds to host ODIs - Clontarf and Stormont so the ICU's options are limited.
What is needed is some creative and imaginative thinking to market these games better to the public.
I wish to set the record straight regarding Ivan’s comments. I'm pretty sure they are not tongue in cheek. I want to respond to the accusation that I have a negative attitude to progress at the club. When I took over as club captain in 2005 the club was in real disarray. Finances were poor, functions were hardly ever arranged let alone supported. We had an ageing team and nobody coming through. Our youth section had 40 to 50 kids and had played only 2 proper fixtures the year before. A number of us got together who wanted to make a change for the better. We decided to build from the bottom up. Every single member of the committee now has a specific role to play and a responsibility such as finance, functions, grounds, youth etc. Its not rocket science but it hadn't been done before. We sought out those individuals who would best fulfill those roles. Chairman Graeme Hunter leads the hardest working and finest committee I believe the club has ever had. The Youth section, led by Peter Maxwell and Niranjan Godbole, have taken the message into dozens of primary schools in the area. The Lurgan Tigers have been launched with the fantastic support of Euro Construction. We now have 130 'Tigers' enjoying cricket at our club. The U11s and U13s have enjoyed successes and 4 boys have all been selected for various representative teams. We have a lot more coming through. We have run 2 excellent club dinners now. (We hadn't one in nearly 2 decades). You can look up on our new website how much the Tigers enjoyed meeting Alec Stewart at our last dinner. The press coverage received from the Lurgan Mail, the Belfast Telegraph and CricketEurope has been excellent and I would like to invite The Ulster Cricketer Online down to Lurgan next year to see for yourself. Finances are good and we are grateful to all our sponsors particularly Abbey Insurance. Last year the 3rds were promoted. This year the 2nds won the Junior Cup for the first time and that only leaves the first eleven. Getting relegated has been a setback but it’s not fatal. When we get back up again we’ll be stronger. I’m not negative about that sort of progress. I’m proud of it.
Just to follow up on Staffy's email let me say I'm one of those guys who support his involvement within the NCU 100% and I don't expect him to be anything else but himself in his new role. Change is the engine of growth and like many institutions the NCU needs change and people like Paul bring a free spirit to the table. We need a few more out there in there!
All quiet with you northerners recently until next year's fixtures were announced. I'm sure Brendan will be up in arms again but my only beef is why Stormont gets any fixtures after the poor attendances this year? Why doesn't Ireland play all the big games at Clontarf and let the NCU and North-West alternate with a game every year? After all most of the ICU members are located in Dublin, the biggest crowds attend in Dublin, and Clontarf does a great job in staging the games.
This is a business not charity.
No need to re-invent yourself just make your points and others can make theirs. That's the beauty of the forum. There are plenty of people that will welcome your involvement within the NCU as you've got different points of view and will express them. But don't expect all the suits to agree with you and I'm sure big Ivan was 'tongue-in-cheek' about Lurgan's demise. But you'll be playing them next season so plenty of opportunity to make or take a point or two.
Thank you for those 'kind' words. To be honest I found them quite depressing. Nice to know that as an outsider you can sum up the situation at Lurgan and leave the blame squarely with me. I took the decision to get involved with the NCU after being urged to do so by Clarence Hiles, no less. It's good to know that the first thing that goes wrong in the NCU in 2008 that I can look forward to a personal attack from you.
Guys, I am passionate about cricket. I will argue my case strongly if I can but I'm not always right. I didn't think 2up 2down was necessary in Section 1. I still don't. However the general consensus is that it has been good for cricket in the NCU. I can live with that. I am not convinced paying players is a good idea but clubs are free to make their own decisions about it. I am not also trying to have it both ways. The 'value for money' line were YOUR words from the article. I was only trying to point out I have no problems with any of the individuals who are getting paid. I was horrified to think anyone thought I was being patronising. Like you said though time to move on.
You talk so much nonsense that I despair for what ever NCU directive that you have managed to get elected to.The negative attitude to progress probably justifies your honour of captaining Lurgan to the first relegation from the top flight in their history.I would imagime most Section 2 clubs will be hoping you are re elected in 2008. Five minutes from Clarence Hiles a thousand odd miles away is a bigger contribution than hours of this boring " dribble ".
Great to see you back on the site and as feisty as ever!
However, I find your anti payment crusade is full of inconsistencies. You criticise clubs for paying players and yet Charlie is "value for money." Can you have it both ways? Also Charlie didn't miss out on too much in his career as he seems to have won every honour around. Still doing it too, so I don't think Laurelvale will back your argument.
As for Michael Reith's appointment we certainly disagree but don't dramatize the relegation in 1998 as the club folding as that's just as ridiculous as saying Lurgan are about to fold. Look at Reith's appointment with the benefit of hindsight and place it in the context of 27 years of North Down CC from 1980 to 2007 and you'll understand if not agree with our vision. It was a huge turning point in the club's history. On the comparison with soccer there is no comparison. Same as rugby as they are professional sports with gate money and high overheads. Some clubs are successful and some are struggling. The best run cricket clubs can accommodate paid players and also invest in their youth and resources but not every one does. It requires vision, plus good business and management skills, not from exceptional people necessarily, but people that love their club and their sport and want the best for both in that order! Yes, they may be insular but it's no accident that they are always successful.