Junior Awards End of Season Message from The Chairman

At the end of a well-attended junior awards sessions last Friday evening, in which over 50 households dialled in, Chairman Matt Swain closed the session with an update on the club and a thank you to Andy Jinman.

“Financially we are in a good place, our costs have been managed closely and we remain predominately a volunteer led club. The ECB loan which we took out to build the new clubhouse has been deferred until next season, and our Town Council loan and debentures are not due to start repayment until 2023. Our income is down by c50% this season due to reduced membership fees, bar income, clubhouse hiring’s, events and the summer cricket course but we received grants from SODC & Sport England. Our principal sponsors J Bennet & Son, Field Sales Solutions and Kubota have continued with us throughout this year and we would like to thank them again for their kind support, without which would make it very difficult for the club to progress at pace. We also published the fixture book with advertising support from several local companies and organisations who we would also like to thank. When the season did finally get underway our Saturday and Sunday matches were viewed by many spectators and the bar income generated a steady return.

In terms of membership, our playing membership grew by +20% in 2019 and even with a reduced length season this year our Saturday and Sunday teams were full, with rotation required for several fixtures. We have over 200 junior playing members compared to less than 100 in 2016. This is particularly impressive given the steady National decline in participation, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise given the magnificent facilities, we have at Church Meadow and an ever improving 2nd ground at LWS upper school. In addition to what I consider to be a very friendly and welcoming club with lots of fantastic coaches, team managers and volunteers. One of the challenges for the committee going forward, will be to structure and resource the club in such a way that we can deliver coaching and playing opportunities to all our members.

Which brings me onto future developments of which, as always there are many. We will continue to partner with and support LWS upper School to develop their pitch, which is our second ground and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team at LWS and Sue Benson for their hard work this season. The pitch and ground, in my opinion, is as good as any of the 2nd grounds of teams we visit in the Cherwell League.

Our coaching this season was strengthened by 6 members / parents taking the ECB level 1 course, 3 new All Stars coaches and the appointment of Shabz Meer, our professional coach / player. We will continue to support and finance any club member who wants to take their ECB Level 1 and 2 badges and welcome newcomers to the All Stars activator list. The success of the U15s led by Andy Jinman and Ian McStay over the last two seasons has gathered such momentum we shall be looking to develop an U17 team in 2021. We created a girls’ team of All Stars this season which will be the foundation of our aspirations to develop a larger Girls section going forward and thanks to Steve Shaw, Andy Johnston and Cate Tiedman for their excellent coaching of the All Stars Girls.

And finally, I made a very special presentation to Andy Jinman who is retiring again, this time to the south coast. Andy joined TTCC a season or two after me in 2014 and because he showed some enthusiasm amongst the committee members, he was swiftly put on the clubs fast track career path and became Level 2 coach, junior team manager, committee member, marketing manager and 3rd XI run machine plus more.

To provide you with some context of Andy’s contribution; over the last 6 years TTCC has been transformed, which has been driven by sponsorship deals, open days, events (including the picnic ball & schools cricket tournament), chance 2 shine, All Stars, Crick Fit, women’s cricket, the 4th XI, doubling the size of our junior section, building a new clubhouse and nets facility. It is fair to say that Andy has been pivotal to these developments which have driven such massive success.

During this time Andy has coached literally 100s of kids at Chance to Shine in Barley Hill, St Josephs and John Hampden plus our own All Stars and junior section. He has put forward upward of 20 juniors for County Pathway and MCC foundation positions. During his 5 years as coach and team manager of the U11s, U13s and U15s Andy reached the league finals in 2017 in 3rd position and 2019 in 2nd position. His teams have played 59 competitive matches and won 40 which is a 67%-win ratio.

He has made an outstanding contribution to the club and community of Thame for which we thank him whole heartedly. He will be sorely missed

Thanks to all the parents and juniors who sent their messages and donations for the card and gift which was my privilege to present him with on the night with a brand new locally sourced, black leather, clip board.

Don’t worry we will get him a decent leaving present before he goes.!

All the very best for the future Andy and thanks for everything.”

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