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I am well aware that things are not as they once were, but " this is 2008 " does not mean that it is right. My point was and is that clubs generally cannot afford to pay players, and that if the money was spent on facilities, ( which wouldn't emigrate, like players, ) then it would be much better for the game. There was an interesting discussion after the ICU agm yesterday, centred on the subject of pros. It was argued that they have improved our standards by their presence. My view is that it is not the pros, but the facilities that have done so. The wickets we play on now are far better than they were, mainly due to covers. The effect has been to improve batsmen by leaps and bounds. However, with a maximum of only 10 overs to bowl, young bowlers simply do not get the chance to learn their trade with the result that we do not produce any. Should you want to shout, "what about Boyd Rankin ?", my answer would be that he is 6'7" tall. On good wickets, he will get bounce, and wickets. On the slow muddy pitches of old, he would have gone back to farming.
However, I digress and repeat - if players move around, the future of clubs will be in jeapordy. If you look at clubs today, their alicadoos are guys who spent their playing days at that club. Without them, there won't be any money raisers, so nobody will get paid.
The success of the Irish team which we all now enjoy is due to a lot of hard work over the last 20 or 30 years in setting up under-age progression, not due to hired guns brought in to achieve results. In my view there is no reason to believe club cricket is any different.
Semi Professional.Player contracts.Ulster League.Changing World.Is the momentum carrying in this direction ?.Why not a few like minded enthusiasts getting together and formulating a way this could be done while fitting in to the masses.Then go to the Unions with a proposal.At least an independent group would have more scope to "think outside the box ".This semi pro league could be the stepping stone to the Irish team.
First time on your site. You need more postings and you'll get them if you continue with these interesting articles. I liked Simon Corlett's comments but money talks. I'm a traditionalist too and fear a breakaway league of purely amateur cricketers might be coming if this is not controlled. They have it in local football and it works. Also if the top 4-6 teams were in an Ulster League wouldn't this achieve the same result? They'd be playing their semi-professional cricket and the rest of the clubs would be getting on enjoying their sport.
Simon things have changed since your day and some clubs are going to make a big impact while others drop back. Look at your own club in the last 20 years. Going, going, gone. Now they have re-invented themselves and CSN will be a stronger club. CI and CSN have taken the place of the old NICC and Woodvale and very soon they'll take over the place of North Down and Waringstown, The world has changed and if you can't beat them join them. This is 2008.
Simon if you were at your peak you'd be offered 10K for certain. Most of what you say is right but you don't expect the clubs to agree do you? Egos or ambition either way they want success and some have the means to buy it. North Down won't get much sympathy because they were involved in it too in the 90s. I think Clarence is right with player contracts because it will bring some order to all this tapping. We're now as bad as the hillbillies in the North West.
Proudly playing for North Down until 2003 after our successes in 2000 i predicted that North Down would dominate NCU for at least the next decade.
At the close of 2007 they are an even better side than the one of 2000. Only Bangor 2004, Waringstown and Instonians have attempted to compete with them. The question is how do other clubs close the gap.
But it seems a new masterplan has been unveiled - throw crazy money at the best 6 players on the team.
2008 I still expect them to be the top side, masterplan or not.
Clarence, I've just read your artcle on payment of players, and I have to say my eyebrows are slightly higher than usual. The points you argue are exactly those used by many of us a long time ago against the whole idea of "professionals". It would appear that you now agree with our original view.
Cricket is a team game, and playing musical chairs is a selfish pastime. These guys will end up with no club to retire to, and will be lost to the game. There are few enough members doing most of the work in clubs, and we cannot afford to lose them. You have only to look at the state of club rugby in Ulster to realise that going down the "pay the players " route is a complete disaster, with clubs not only heading for bankruptcy , but also losing any semblance of loyalty from the players.
Hired guns may achieve short term gains, but real success is a long term thing.
One final observation : big spenders tend to be a few big ego trippers. Are they really wanting success for the club, or for themselves ?
We need to have names with posts please so if you have made one and it is not on, thats why.
I read with a lot of interest regards player movement in the NCU this winter and in particular at North Down.
I believe from rumour and some fact that the following N.Down players have all been approached for their services;
David Kennedy,gone home to ballymena.
Marty Dalzell, gone to glendermott.
Ryan Haire and Ralph Coetzee made serious offers to go to CI but neither have yet made their minds up due to the serious offers in place?
Peter Connell approached by a NW club,with a good offer and has also not made up his mind?
Neil Russell was made a very good offer from the NW but it seems he is the only player at this stage to show "loyalty" to his club and hence renaged on the offer? Fair play to him indeed if this is the case.
Seems with success these days there will be a lot of clubs now willing to open the chequebook. North Down have been the premier team for near on a decade now in the NCU and whilst i find it shocking the supposed money being offered around it comes as little surprise that other clubs have targeted a serious number of the ND players.
I also hear a couple of the Waringstown youngsters have also been approached?
It will certainly been interesting to see who is with who come mid-april.
Hi Taito. Ok so they have a new clubhouse which is shared and you know what that means. Anyway it's their money that's playing best right now. You asked for names so what about Coetzee and Ryan Haire for starters? North Down offered five grand if they took Da Haire but they declined! Just joking Robin. I don't want a kicking next time I'm in Comber. Seems like the CI and Glendermott hitmen did their homework and discovered North Down aren't a bad team.
i think that is a harsh statement about belmont, CI have put a lot of work in recently on relaying the sqaure and have a wonderful new clubhouse which would rival most in the country. I would say there are many many worse places to play , i wont name them because i wouldnt want to offend anyone. I am intrigued about the rumours of player movements, any names??
The rumour machine is out of control and CI seem to have taken Glendermott off the headlines. I think you have to pay players to play on an open rugby pitch during the summer but if the money's right then some people obviously don't care. Different sort of a challenge going to Belmont that the Rectory.
I wouldn't even go there to watch a cricket match.
I can't believe the money being touted around NCU and North-West cricket for local players but it is a difficult thing to stop. I think your editor's suggestion of club contracts may be the only way forward as that's what happens in local football. Similar approaches happen in Leinster but not all clubs are involved which I suppose is much the same as up north. Will it buy success?
Have to agree with Clarence's waryness in respect of paid players also. Am aware (via rumour) of a number of younger players at the top NCU clubs who have recently been offered large sums (5-8k +) to relocate to a certain up and coming side. Is this healthy for our game ?
Clarence, I was very pleasantly surprised to read your article regarding player payments and indeed having the courage to talk figures in what is generally a murky world. I hope that someone of your standing will make some people stop and listen to what you have to say without the usual vitriol that comes in my direction when I try to say, albeit not as eloquently, the same thing.