To all Fairfield-Liverpool Cricket Club members, players, supporters and sponsors,
The last 18 months have been a struggle personally for us all and the Cricket Club. COVID-19 has instilled a lot of doubt about the competition, our sponsorship and the Club’s health moving forward. I’m so proud to be a part of this club and the strides we have taken as a membership group to ensure the longevity of this family club. This strength is down to multiple facets, including the committee (with a brilliant treasurer), the membership base, and our wonderful sponsors’ support during such unprecedented times.
Being a sports administrator for a licensed club premises in Bankstown Sports, I understand these venues’ hardships. The fact we have the financial support of the Canley Heights RSL Club has meant our club (while going through a pandemic) has managed to secure new uniforms, upgraded facilities, improved coaching staff and a brand new electronic scoreboard – which without their assistance, would not be possible – so thank you to the Canley Heights RSL Board of Directors and Management Team. Along with our major sponsor, we have worked tirelessly to guarantee other sponsors to ensure the financial viability of the Club. Ed Square Town Centre, Dulux (Guildford West), Boost Juice (Winston Hills), A Plus Designer Homes, Yello Concrete Pumping & Stevemattbeach.com have all come on board for the upcoming season, and we can’t thank them enough. Though I’m sure he would not like to be singled out, Mitch Lloyd (former Lions player) has continued to support us through his many business ventures. He continues to do so this year with “Patriot Bloodstock”, and he deserves a lot of appreciation for his investment into the Lions.
Just before lockdown, we held our AGM, which saw a bit of a changing of a guard (hence why I’m here typing this up!). As an advocate for succession planning and futureproofing, it was refreshing to see many new committee members join the fold. To ensure the club is fruitful into the new age of technology, social media, and Sydney Grade Cricket’s ever-growing professionalism, it was great to see a fresh group of personnel join the board to compliment the old guard as we move forward. I personally want to thank Adrian Smith and Richard Gerdes for their support and guidance throughout the years both on and off the field. Due to their leadership, the Club is in a great position to further accelerate into this new time, and the Club and committee are forever thankful for your service.
As the new President of the Club, it’s become my duty to ensure that transparency, proactiveness and change is forefront to ensure we keep up with the demands of the professionalism that Cricket NSW is placing Sydney Grade Cricket, all while ensuring our members have a place to better themselves and call home. While some may think a 29-year-old is too young to be a President of a sporting club (it’s 2021… I can identify as anything I want), I have high ambitions to restore some of the values that were drove into me by former players and coaches such as Richard Gerdes, Anthony Clark, Steve Luc, Jason Gynn and Terry Kennedy – hard work and passion as a collective.
Though there was some false advertising about meeting the NSW Premier, we are glad to hear there is a light at the end of this lockdown tunnel. Without plagiarising the email sent through from Cricket NSW, it seems as if community sport may need to reach an 80% vaccination target while players will need to be double-vaccinated to play. There are talks of the 70% target being ‘good enough’ for community sport to get underway, but it’s an ongoing uncertainty. Our social media team and committee continue to provide you with all updates where we can, and we must keep positive in this time, both physically and mentally.
‘Cricket stuff’ as I like to call it to my friends and family, as well as my passion and love for this club, has meant that I spend days on end trying to think of ways to better us both on and off the field. I have been in constant contact with Luke, our Head Coach, our committee and players to try to utilise this time to plan and be proactive, and I guess I can place that down to not working for 12 weeks now. I hope our players and members can start thinking that same way from now, as not only do I want that passion to seep through all of us leading into the season, but we want to see everyone that has the tiniest connection to the club be involved to get us back where we all want it to be and restore those aforementioned values.
Think of this pandemic as a fresh start for this club. We saw some great work done last year with First Grade making the finals in all three formats, but I won’t stop until those results are mirrored throughout the grades and continue to try to improve the off-field stuff that sometimes goes unnoticed. Non-player memberships, new website, new electronic scoreboard and honour boards, improved facilities and amenities, more funds, more coaches and volunteers… we will continue to better our home while keeping the tradition and history of this club at the forefront of the future.
Yours in Ticker and Passion,
‘El Prez’ Starry