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Festive Fireside 2023

Festive Fireside 2023

Liam Booth22 Dec 2023 - 11:03
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An early Christmas present for DCC members with the club captain and secretary's annual fireside

Boothy: Nick, the log fire is roaring and this Baileys is going down a treat so let's get started. We’re going early this year with our annual fireside so it should be fresh in the memory, your summary of the 1st XI’s 2023 season?

Nick: I would probably describe it as a very wet summer of near misses (at various stages) for the 1st team. Obviously gutted to be a point away from retaining the Premier League, and going out in the National on DLS when we had played so well was also pretty tough to take. Similarly lost by a couple of runs or a couple of wickets in the other cups, and some games during the league season, but as we have found in the past, the more we get into these situations, hopefully the more we will deal with them well in the future.

Boothy: And what about the rest of the club?

Nick: It was another fantastic season at all levels of the club, particularly the 2s doing the double whilst unbeaten, and the women's 1s also doing the double. It was also great to see the 2As get promoted back into the league below the 2s, so that we can continue to offer a really strong playing standard on a Saturday. Probably the highlight of the year though was the under 13s reaching the National Final at Lord's, it was a real shame that it was on a Saturday during the season, as I'd have loved to be there. It is a real testament to Lakes, Princey and the other junior coaches that we made it so far, and the junior programme seems to be going from strength to strength.

Boothy: Amazingly, we are only a few weeks away from the beginning of winter nets! We seem to have made better use of our weekly training session in recent winters so more of the same this time around?

Nick: Yeah, I think so. I have already spoken to Horts about how we want to go about things, with a real focus on not just netting for the sake of it, but trying to make sure that everyone has made improvements in key areas ahead of the season. We are also looking to get some specialist bowling and fielding coaches in, to support the work Horts does as a batter, so watch this space!

Boothy: Can we expect to see any new faces? And have we had anybody move on to pastures new?

Nick: Probably best to start with the bad news on this one! It has probably been one of our worst winters in terms of people moving away, for a variety of reasons, but everyone leaves with our very best wishes and no hard feelings. Rohan and Dan Ward are moving to Toft, and though sad to see them go, a great opportunity for them at a great club, and amazing memories of their contributions to us winning the league in 2022. Matt Laker is joining Northern with Chris, and we will certainly miss his consistency with bat and ball in the 2s. We have also had some people leave the area, so will be without Tom "he's got no legs" Magowan, Max Backhouse, Osh Cook, and Hersh Khatri. All of these guys have been great contributors for us, and will be tough to replace, but we are pretty hopeful on good numbers for nets when they start in Jan.

On the plus side, we have had three new players join the 1st XI squad. Will Street is a tall off-spinner from Treeton, who netted with us towards the back end of last year, and will slot really well into the space left by Mags and Rohan. Jonty Walliker is joining us from Devon, for whom he played NCCA cricket in 2023. He's a left arm seamer so will offer some variety to the attack, and there's unconfirmed reports that he whacked Steve Green for some bombs against Cheshire this year, so that's exciting too. Finally Joe Cooke is also joining us, having most recently played in the GMCL and for Cheshire in 2023. Prior to that Joe was contracted at Glamorgan, and it is brilliant news that he has chosen to come and play at Dids in 2024. He's a top order left hand bat and right arm seamer, and I am really looking forward to playing more cricket with him, and seeing what he will bring to the club and team.

Boothy: Always sad to see people move on but some pretty handy additions there! And if any more people were interested in joining the club, are we a closed shop for 2024? If not, what can they expect from DCC in this upcoming season?

Nick: Definitely not a closed shop, with the number of players leaving (particularly those who predominantly played Saturday cricket) leaving a hole that we need to fill. In terms of what people can expect, our team selection at all levels is very much a meritocracy, nobody is guaranteed a spot at any level, and the opportunity definitely exists to come into the club and work your way into whatever team you want. It was great to see some first team debuts last year from new players, with Jack Airey, Joe Gaudie, Hersh Khatri and Chris Becker all joining the club and playing some 1s cricket. It was also good for Adam Slater and Evan Turner to make their 1s debut, and we are very much looking forward to more and more junior players moving through the ranks.

Boothy: Great! And if that takes their fancy, what do they need to do to get the ball rolling?

Nick: Give me a shout! The best way to get involved is to drop me a Whatsapp on 07841249748 and I can talk people through the joining process, timings for nets, costs, kit and everything in between. Nets start the second week of Jan, so please do get in touch if you've made it this far through and would like to join!

Boothy: And what about off the field… any updates to share?

Nick: 2023 might have been our best year yet for off-field improvements, thanks in no small part to our range of sponsors, who we are incredibly grateful for, and whose contribution to grass roots cricket really does make all the difference. In 2023 we got 2 new changing rooms, adding some much needed space to both home and away, and setting us up to host more rep cricket, and better host women's and junior games. We also added the decking in front, re-roofed the scoreboard with thanks to WG Consultancy (, added the scoreboard repeater for spectators, and have rebuilt the storage area in the clubhouse. Sahara also very kindly sponsored a shed for us. Barbs and Andy continue to make improvements to the ground, and we are super grateful to them for their hard work in such a wet summer. It was great to play on such a belting wicket at home for the Cheshire game, and to see us knock off 300+ really shows how far the ground has come. Over the closed season there have already been loads of socials, which is a side of the club that continues to grow thanks to all the volunteers, and we have booked in to have the nets re-laid to continue to improve and maintain practice facilities.

Boothy: Finally, what are your hopes for 2024? Anything you’re particularly looking forward to?

A: I am hopeful of another really enjoyable and successful at all levels of the club, and I am sure we will continue to invest in our facilities and coaching to try and continue to improve our results on the field, and make things as fun as we can off it. From a first team point of view, I am keen to have another crack at the national, I feel like we are learning as we go having only entered it for the past 2 years, and we can definitely improve our performances in the Cheshire and T20 cups as well. From the Premier League point of view, it is clear that loads of clubs are strengthening, and I am sure it will be a very close and competitive year again, and I can't wait to get going!

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