Droitwich Spa CC
Droitwich Spa CC is a fine example of the important role that a club can play in their local community. Sport in Profile Magazine recently caught up with their Karl Goddard who is the club’s 2nd team captain, lead coach and welfare officer.
He told us, “I was introduced to DSCC by some friends who were already playing and sold the club and its excellent playing and practice facilities to me. Twenty years later, I’m still here and having played for the first team for many years, I’m now second team captain and lead coach and now watching my 11-year-old son, Leo, start out on his cricketing journey with the club too.”
“As lead coach, it’s fantastic to see the youngsters that my fellow coaches and I have trained enjoy their cricket whilst developing and improving their skills. Nothing beats watching players fulfil their potential by scoring runs and taking wickets in junior cricket and then progressing into adult cricket to continue their love of the game.
Indeed this season, there were more than 200 appearances by under 16s in our senior teams with these youngsters contributing over 1,600 runs and taking in excess of 150 wickets which bodes well for the future.
The most challenging is developing a clear cricket development plan/strategy for players to follow and then implementing the plan through the different age groups to achieve success/enjoyment.”
“On the playing side, Droitwich Seconds won the Worcestershire County League Division 2 2nd XI title this season and achieved the club’s aim of promotion. Whilst it’s never easy to keep all the players happy and maintain a settled side, it was just brilliant to see the camaraderie, team spirit and determination amongst all those selected over the course of the season.”
“I would say the mood here is mixed but highly optimistic. The firsts were relegated but had an encouraging end to the season with several wins under new captain Ian Cottrill, whilst the seconds were crowned champions.
Our thirds and fourths continue to provide a platform for our juniors to experience senior cricket for the first team. Indeed our youth section is currently 170-strong and features various boys’ and girls’ teams from under 9s through to under 17s, which has created a superb social atmosphere amongst parents particularly at Friday night junior practice when the clubhouse is buzzing.”
“There have definitely been more positives than negatives this season. The first team may have gone down but there are high hopes of an immediate return and there were still plenty of plus points such as Ash Fearnall scoring over 1,000 runs in addition to the seconds finishing as league winners.
We have got some good youngsters coming through with eight players representing the county at various age groups including Jacey Foster, who turned out for the senior Worcestershire Rapids ladies team.
Our junior section was buoyed by the ECB’s All Stars initiative, which brought more children and their parents to the club, whilst at the opposite end of the spectrum, we celebrated as Martin Woodward marked 50 years of playing for Droitwich – something we hope some of our youngsters will go on to repeat.”
“As a club, we’re trying to involve ourselves more in the community to get our name in front of local residents and businesses. For example, with Heart of Worcestershire College, we’re trying to connect with both the students and their parents whilst with Gaudet Luce Golf Club, we’ve gained an association with a well-known location in Droitwich. Our aim is now to create mutually beneficial arrangements rather than just being able to offer advertisement opportunities to companies.”
“The main challenge for the club is going to be the integration of all the youngsters coming through into senior cricket, keeping them in the game and at the club whilst nurturing their talent, which in turn, will help to improve our playing strength.
Off-the-pitch, our focus will be on the redevelopment of our clubhouse and facilities which we see as another important factor in attracting new players to the club and safeguarding its future.”
“We would like to take some significant strides towards a new clubhouse or a major facelift of our existing facility. On the field, we want to get the first team back in Division One as soon as possible, whilst keeping a close eye on the Birmingham League restructure as we can then re-evaluate where we want to be from there.
At the same time, we will continue developing the youth and maintaining four competitive sides in Saturday league cricket. Depending on the retention of both younger and senior players, there may come a time when we may have to look at the option of a fifth team which opens up further challenges in terms of pitches and organisation but would be a positive sign that the club is continuing to flourish.”