15th July 2019
Ashton on Mersey Cricket Club
Firstly, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to all members at our Annual General Meeting tonight. The aim of my report is to bring everyone up to date with events that have happened in the club since the last AGM.
It’s my first report as Secretary but I’ll try and be as brief as possible. I apologise in advance if I’ve omitted the contribution of achievement of any individual.
Off the field
Off the field, the club has made great progress over the last 12 months with the main highlights being:
This season, we’ve had around 300 paid up members which is the most the club has ever had; this doesn’t include the 80 or so children in the under 5 and under 6 age groups. For the forthcoming season, we will have approximately 400 members in addition to the under 5s and 6s – that equates to 34 teams! The new online membership system is working well and has helped to massively reduce workload.
I’d also like to thank all coaches for their assistance in sorting out registrations for the new season – it really does help and is really appreciated. Most people are now signed up now but after Friday, I won’t be registering any players until September.
One of the highlights of last season was the creation of a ladies’ football section and I’m pleased to say that we’ve now extended this with the creation of an adult men’s team and a girls’ section. The men’s team is looking for a few more players if anyone is interested. Training and matches are on a Friday night – 11 a side on 3G.
In terms of subscriptions, the annual cost of membership remains at £240 for the season but we will be collecting monthly direct debits of £24 over 10 months rather than £20 over 12 months. This brings us into line with other clubs such as Sale Utd and will help with cashflow over the season. We’re still one of the cheapest clubs in the area.
In relation to the girls’ section, we were awarded a ‘grow the game grant’ last July and went on a recruitment drive. From a standing start, we now have over 40 girls regularly training with us which represents around 10% of the membership. I just want to say a massive thanks to Matt Day, Kirsty Day, Kelly Wilkinson and Chris Tait who have really helped drive the section forward. I’d also like to thank Claire Humphreys and Charlotte Bristowe who have both volunteered to coach next season.
For the first time in 10 years, we will be entering teams in the South Manchester Girls league but it’s looking like it will be FIVE teams that we’re entering – an under 13 team, an under 12 team, an under 11 team and two under 9 teams. However, we are still looking for additional players in current school years 5, 6 and 7 if you know anyone.
Because of our track record in increasing participation in football across the community, we were invited by Cheshire FA to apply to start a Wildcats centre, which began in March 2019. The sessions are between 1 and 2pm every Saturday afternoon in Ashton Park, catering for girls from school year 2 upwards.
Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC)
One other notable success this season was the club’s application to become a Community Amateur Sports Club which means that we are treated like a charity for taxation purposes. However, more importantly, it’s a validation of our status as a real community club serving Ashton on Mersey and surrounding areas.
We’re now operating across several sites, namely Wellfield Junior school, the Cricket Club, Ashton Park, Dainewell Park and Weathercock Farm (or Firs Rd Park for the locals).
Probably the most important development of the last season in relation to facilities is that we now have a toilet facility at Wellfield, which the club part funded to the cost of £4,000. It was ridiculous that we had over 100 kids playing on there without access to a toilet, so I hope you agree that it was money well spent.
With regards to Winter training, we will continue to use MHA, AJ Bell and Partington Sports Village. However, the bad news is that AJ Bell have given two prime time training slots to someone else so we’re losing a pitch on Wednesday between 7 & 8pm and a pitch on Thursday 7 & 8 which is less than ideal as we’re really struggling to fit everyone in.
We do have an additional training slot on a Tuesday so if anyone is able or willing to swap to then, it would be hugely appreciated.
On the issue of facilities, we are continuing talks with various stakeholders and our long-term vision is to get a place we can call home and, ideally, a 3G training facility. I won’t go into detail on the finances as I’m sure Steve will be covering this, but our aim is to build up a development fund as any funding we might be able to attract will invariably need to be matched by us.
The season didn’t start well, and we had a few supply difficulties, so we reviewed our agreement with CMY. We’re now pleased to announce that we have entered into an agreement with Serious Sport, who manufacture the kit and previously supplied CMY. We’ve been using them for most of this season and I’ve been impressed with their service.
One of the benefits of switching to Serious Sport is that we now have our own club shop where club merchandise can be bought – this is accessible through our website, which has recently been rebranded.
For this season, we will have a dedicated kit and equipment manager in Pete Fletcher, who currently coaches in the under 7s, so any queries regarding kit now needs to go via Pete.
As a reminder, sponsorship is now set at a flat rate, which is:
- 7 a side = £400
- 9 a side = £500
- 11 a side = £600
These are minimums – any money raised above this amount can be used by you on anything you wish, such as tournaments, end of season socials, equipment etc.
On the subject of equipment, we’ve invested heavily in equipment this season purchasing 4 pairs of 12×6 ft Aluminium goals and 2 pairs of 16×7 ft goals and the intention is, in time, to replace all our plastic goals.
Most teams have been given replacement footballs and the match balls are to follow. However, please let Pete know if you require anything else.
The recent family fun day / presentation day at Wellfield was a success with Tony Lowe commenting that he thought it was the best one that we’ve ever had. No doubt aided by the weather but a big thanks to those who attended.
We recognise that much of the social events that the club puts on revolves around the younger children and isn’t relevant to the older kids, so we have decided to split the social secretary role into two – one covering primary school age and one covering secondary school and adults.
We’re also looking to create two social committees with representatives from each age group so please have a think who might best represent your age group.
Website & Social media
We have recently relaunched our website and want to drive traffic towards there from Social Media rather than the other way round. Please go and have a look at www.aomfc.co.uk
We are after people to periodically submit articles on there so please let me know if you would be interested in doing that.
On the field
I won’t go into detail about the achievements of individual teams as the team managers will be doing this, but this season has been one of our best in terms of discipline with only 7 cautions and 1 sending off which is not bad for a club with over 300 members!
However, we have also been found guilty of two misconduct charges which, in both cases, was because of parents allegedly acting aggressively towards the referee. Please remind parents to let the referee do their job and, under no circumstances, enter the field of play.
Next season will also see a ‘Sin Bin’ introduced for dissent charges where the player will be sin-binned for 8 minutes of the match. Normal Yellow and Red cards will apply for non-dissent fouls.
I’d like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers at the club – it wouldn’t exist without all of you.
However, I’d like to say a special thanks to Will – he does a huge amount of work behind the scenes and is the driving force behind the club. He’s also had to put up with my short fuse for the last year and is always the voice of reason!