I've been part of the club for 20 years now, and this has been the most exciting (and busy!) build up to a season I can remember. The club has really kicked on over the past few years, and we have more people than ever playing and enjoying cricket at TCC across the three main sections, Gloucestershire and Western Storm academies, and many other community events being run through the club.
The immediate success of the Women's team has brought a new energy to the club, and with the club now represented in WEPL Prem 1 on the Men's side for the first time in 10 years it's safe to say we are in a good place. This year we have more Men's games scheduled than ever before, with over 100 players set to play a part over the course of the summer. TCC groundsman Jon Oakey and TMS groundsman Andy Weeks have already put in some great work to ensure the grounds are ready for the first fixtures this weekend - as ever the club is hugely grateful for their support and to all the others who work on the facilities and keep the club running.
Once again, the emphasis has been on improving our top class coaching setup, with Stu Houghton again taking on the role of Head Coach, and Owen Dawkins supporting him as director of Cricket in his time away from Gloucestershire. We will also have additional coaching support throughout the summer, and will continue to invest in this area where possible.
The coaches and cricket chair have 4 main targets to deliver across the summer:
Ensure every player has equal access to coaching, regardless of age or ability
Select teams fairly, based on recent performances, ability, and application at training
Support the development of youth players through the men's section
Create an enjoyable environment for all on both training nights and match days
Training night will be Wednesday from 5.30pm onwards at TCC, with additional coaching available pre game on Saturday morning, as well as player organised ad-hoc sessions throughout the summer. Teams and Competitions We will again be entering 5 Saturday league sides, and we have also entered 4 additional competitions this summer, with the hope of securing some silverware along the way. 1st XI - West of England Premier Division 1 The 1st team return to the top tier Prem 1 for the first time in a decade, following last season's final day promotion. Led again by Marc Lezar, the team will be looking to continue their upward trend, and try to push into the top half of what is essentially a semi-professional league. The season starts at home to Lansdown, and will see the side travel all over the West Country, from Potterne to Taunton and anywhere in between! 2nd XI - Gloucestershire County League Division 1 After a baptism of fire in WEPL 3 last year, the 2nds dropped back into the Gloucestershire County League. They will again be led by Greg Mallitte, and have high hopes of a promotion push, given a combination of increased squad depth, and some talented youth players who are breaking through. The 2's start away at Aston Ingham, and majority of the away games will see them travelling up the M5, with a familiar trip to Chipping Sodbury also on the cards. 3rd XI - Bristol and District League Division 7 The 3's missed out on promotion by two points last season, and will be looking to go one better this year. Jordan Hicks will be taking the reigns again, and with a talented young side (and a few experienced heads), will be going into the season with high hopes. Again, increased squad depth and competition above will hopefully have a positive impact on the 3rd team performances. They welcome Coalpit Heath to Tockington for the first game, and will be travelling all over the Bristol region, as far south as Stanton Drew. 4th XI - Bristol and District League Division 13 Having been in promotion contention for most of last summer, some limited availability towards the end of the season meant the 4th team came up short in the end. This summer they will be expecting to challenge for promotion, and will likely be skipped by various players across the season. Once again, some talented youngsters will provide the core of the side, along with some wise old heads! Bradley Stoke will be hosting the 4s in week 1, and like the 3's they will be travelling all over Bristol for away days. 5th XI - Bristol and District League Division 30 After their first full league season last year, the 5ths will go again in the 30 over development league organised by the B&D. The target will be to give youth players their first taste of adult cricket, and give some of the older players a chance to enjoy a slightly shortened Saturday afternoon playing the sport they love. They will be based at Oldbury again this year, and kick off on the 14 May against Stapleton. Away games will be scattered over Bristol. Other Competitions:
WEPL T20 Cup - We'll be looking to follow up from reaching finals day in 2021, with the first round on 15 May at Frocester.
Gloucestershire County Cup - Hosting Tewkesbury on the 5th June in the opening round.
B&D Bateman Trophy - For the 3rds and 4ths, a knockout competition.
Bristol Midweek T20 League - This is a brand new competition which we are supporting, and we have been drawn with Bath, Hanham and Winterbourne.
Here's to a great 2022! Simon Weeks TCC Men's Cricket Chair