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Compliments galore!

They say you shouldn’t throw bouquets at yourself but for now following Friday’s successful Annual Dinner the Cricket Section will brush aside that particular notion with the following comments - and with no pun intended - the Proprietor of Edwin Pounds’ funeral directors Simon Broome commented; “what a brilliant night – I’ve not been to the Club before but both my colleague Paul Griffin and me were very impressed not just with the evening’s entertainment and food but with the set-up as a whole."

Pounds’ have come on board for the first time ever as the main sponsors and those comments augur well for the future.

Other guests were mightily impressed with many more kind sentiments which include those from the former Bradford City, Rochdale and York City manager Terry Dolan who said; “I always enjoy my evenings at Cleck’ and look forward to meeting people I now consider friends during the cricket season."

It was great to see so many new faces amongst the 115 guests and the night was arguably our best dinner yet?

More events to follow in 2019

Following Friday’s fabulous Annual Dinner and the Neil Diamond tribute night just a few short weeks ago the Cricket Section’s quest for further fund-raising events continues.

In the Club’s Cricket Events Calendar is information about all the forthcoming evenings and afternoons Events at the Club in the coming weeks and months.

There was a great atmosphere at Moorend on Friday March 8th

The ‘thirst’ not only to raise much needed capital but to give guests a good experience at Moorend is a genuine aim for all of the Cricket Committee, which of course filters down from all of the Sports Club Committee and members.

The Sports Club Chair Lady Liz Bailey attended the Annual Dinner and she proved to be a good sport alongside many other guests who were subjected to some harmless but hilarious poking of fun by the comedian John Gillan.

A word for the Sports Club’s new Bar Manager Bethan and her team of ladies who were truly magnificent in their assistance on Friday serving drinks at the tables, which always goes down well with guests.

There is a great deal more planned this year and we ask everyone to keep an eye on the Events Calendar and on the screen in the bar area.

Sports Club Chair Lady Liz Bailey was a 'good sport' at Friday's dinner and to the left of the photo pictured are two pensive but supportive gentlemen! As was everyone of course and the evening was a great success

Massive thanks to dinner guests!

Friday’s Cricket Section Annual Dinner went down a storm despite a slight set-back through the day!

Guest speaker Curtis Woodhouse pulled out at the last minute because of illness, a genuine situation as the former footballer turned boxer developed food poisoning overnight after a meal out!

Thankfully, former Nott’m Forest and England midfielder Steve Hodge stepped in as a replacement at short notice and he did a manful job.

Comedian John Gillan went down an absolute storm! MC/Auctioneer John Collier oversaw his usual slick stint in fine style.

Overall, the evening was thoroughly enjoyable and it was truly heart warming to witness around 115 guests enjoy themselves as well as taking part in heads & tails - and as a bonus every auction prize achieved a fantastic value plus 15 match day sponsors were acquired.

The waitress service at the tables was appreciated by everyone – and to those that supported the Cricket section the Cricket Committee en-bloc thanks all of our guests.

Cleck's 'brilliant' bar staff can be seen hard at work

Robbo’ rates Cleck’s chances of success

Joe Robinson has been around Moorend since he was an eight-year old and two decades on he remains loyal to Cleck’ having had a brief foray at Scholes.

Joe was an important part of the Cleck’ side that won two Titles and he’s sufficiently qualified to give an accurate opinion of his Club’s fortunes for the coming season.

“This season both the First and Seconds’ teams are in with a great chance of success,” commentedRobbo’. “The First Team started to click at the back end of last year and with three great additions to the team, Azeem RafiqCraig Fletcher and Andy Gorrod coming back Cleck’ could be ‘dark horses’ for the Championship this year and we’re in with a great chance of causing more than a few upsets.”

Joe may tire of being known as Mr Reliable, we’re not sure because he never complains and just gets on with his game, which makes him a massive favourite at Cleck’ and after playing First Team cricket last season, he’s now agreed to add his vast experience for the Seconds in 2019 and believes promotion has to be the aim.

Joe Robinson is vastly experienced with two Championship medals under his belt

He said; “For the Seconds’ this year promotion is a must – the Seconds’ side have a great set of lads and having Joe Wood back at the Club is a huge bonus both in the batting and bowling departments. The young lads like Richard Noble and Ethan Lee had fantastic seasons last year and they will influence the side massively.”

Richard Noble's progress in the Seconds has been highlighted by Robbo'

There is no doubt that Joe will be remembered forever at Cleck’ as a player who would never let you down – a hugely popular man and arguably with one of the safest pair of hands in the Bradford League.Robbo’ has years ahead of him in the game should he chose - and hopefully always at Moorend but for this season he’s more than happy to help the Club’s Second team.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the Second team under new Captain Elliot Hallas ala ‘big shire horse’ – and it will be nice to see him leading the lads and taking over from Chris Dobson,” added Robbo’. “Dobby has done a superb job as Captain and I’m sure he will enjoy just turning up and playing without any added pressure.”

Chris Dobson can now enjoy his game without the responsibility of Captaincy

Joe has stepped up as Captain on occasions and he knows exactly what’s required from his team mates – his attitude rubs off on others and Robbo’s presence around the Club as a whole is a massive plus for everyone.

Tribute act is a real gem!

The Neil Diamond tribute act who performed superbly at Moorend on Friday night strutted his stuff in front of an appreciative audience of over 120 guests.

Organiser Dave Worrall, who had brilliant support from Chairman Ian Gatenby and other helpful individuals was delighted with a man who not only mimicked the great star but he had many more different songs in his repertoire.

As far as events are concerned Dave has ‘nailed it’ and such tribute acts and for the cost of just £10 per person makes it affordable and good value and the support from everyone was truly amazing!

One real feature of what was a fabulous evening was the level of support and whilst the Cricket Section were represented in fine style, a large number of Sports Club members and their friends in general were present and that highlights the unity of the Club as a whole.

The function room was full to the rafters on Friday night

So many Club members and friends supported the Cricket Section

Woody admits eagerness!

Former Captain John Wood was the lynchpin of Cleck’ for well over a decade and his opinions carry a great deal of kudos to this day.

Now happy to be ‘one of the lads’ without the responsibility of being Skipper, Woody reveals that he’s excited about the signing of Azeem Rafiq and he cannot wait to start the new season.

Azeem is a brilliant signing for us,” admitted John. “As a Club we’re always keen to secure the services of talented players who in turn want to come to Cleck’ and are keen to join us for the right reasons. He’s a great lad who will push us forward again and help us to challenge over the next few years.”

Woody concluded by adding; “I can’t wait to start the new season and see our new signing play.”

John remains a pivotal figure at Moorend as does his family and even though his mum Anne Wood no longer oversees tea duties, which she stoically oversaw for well over ten years, Anne remains on call to help if she’s able, which includes the ‘Ladies Luncheon’ in July – with more information to follow soon.

The one-time Captain may be in the twilight of his career but his keeness to play remains intact.

Latest signing captures imagination

Following the capture of Azeem Rafiq after his release by Yorkshire CCC the Club’s committee member and former Chairman Dave Worrall expresses his delight at the new signing.

“Everyone at Cleck’ is excited about the signing of Azeem,” admitted Dave. “Skipper Mally Nicholsonhas worked very hard to get this one over the line and there were times we didn’t think it was going to happen and we had contingencies in place - but we got there in the end.”

The one-time Chairman added; “I have spoken to Azeem briefly and he is really looking forward to meeting up with the boys and getting out on the grass. He will also be taking charge of our summer camp which is great news for our forty plus juniors and we will be promoting this event through the website and local schools. We are viewing this as a long term arrangement and a further step forward for the Club.”

Azeem became Cleck’s latest newcomer after signing a contract with the Club.

The 27-year-old Karachi-born off spinner who is an adept batsman also was released by Yorkshire CCCat the end of the 2018 season but despite offers elsewhere he has teamed up with the Moorenders for the 2019 season and Azeem has committed himself to playing regular cricket with Cleck’.

Azeem made his debut for Yorkshire against Sussex in 2009 and despite a loan spell with Derbyshirein 2011 he went on to become Yorkshire’s youngest ever Captain in the Club’s history in 2012, which was in a T20/20 game against Durham.

Azeem’s record is impressive, he’s taken 71 first class wickets and 102 victims in T20 games plus many more wickets in other competitions.

He had a first class batting average of 39.5 notching over 2,800 runs and an average of 22.9 in T20 games scoring 2155 runs.

The man born in Pakistan on February 27th 1991 is good friends with another of Cleck’s pre-season signings, Craig Fletcher and after speaking to the Moorenders Captain Mally NicholsonAzeem was delighted to make the decision to play in the Bradford League, which naturally has gone down well with the Club’s Skipper. “For me, Azeem is a quality signing for us and hopefully we can push on from last season with his help,” commented Mally. “And we’re hoping to see him at Cleck’ long after the coming season.”

Azeem has endured a tough time with the very sad loss of his unborn child but he has a close bond with his family and of course his devoted wife Fayal. And it is with that in mind that Azeem has decided to be more readily available than the rigours of County Cricket.

Everyone at Cleck’ is delighted to have such a talented player on board and everyone at Moorendwishes Azeem well.

Azeem Rafiq's signing is a real coup for Cleck'

In addition to Azeem the Club is delighted to have captured the signing of experienced all-rounder Craig Fletcher from Kirkburton CC a player that Mally reveals he's been trying to sign for some time.

Not forgetting Andy Gorrod who returns to the fold and he is a popular character around Moorend.

A lot of Clubs will have made some quality signings but with the possibility of Tom Kohler-Cadmorebeing available to play a few games prospects for 2019 look promising for Cleck' and importantly the Club's players' budget has not increased one bit!!

Craig Fletcher is a player the Club Captain was keen on signing for some while

Cleck’ begin season on home soil

Cleck’s First Team are at home to Townville on the opening day of the 2019 season, which starts on Saturday April 27th.

Other opening day Premier League fixtures include; Champions Pudsey St Lawrence hosting Methleyand newcomers Undercliffe and Wrenthorpe face each other at Intake Road.

Woodlands will find life hard away to ambitious New FarnleyFarsley host Hanging HeatonBradford & Bingley at home to Lightcliffe could go either way.

The following week on Saturday May 4th Cleck’ travel to newly promoted Wrenthorpe and faceLightcliffe at Moorend a week later with the usual early season contest against Pudsey St Lawrencetaking place at Tofts Road on Saturday May 18th.

April 27th sees Cleck’s seconds’ side visit Northowram Fields but just 24 hours later face Undercliffe atMoorend, which given good weather should witness a good crowd with Elliott Hallas’ players at home toWrenthorpe on May 4th.

With one more player to be signed the First Team has a healthy squad of 14 including Yorkshire’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore subject to his availability. That said looking at the Seconds' for the coming season any member of the side could step up if required, which will be a likely remit.

Cleck’ welcome newcomers

Cleck’s Seconds’ Skipper Elliott Hallas reveals two newcomers for his side next term.

Joe Wood returns to the Club from Spen Victoria and James Ives has signed from the Liversedge First Team,” revealed Elliott. “Woody comes back after a year’s absence to open the batting and bowling andJames comes as a much-needed quality spinner. Both players have come to win games and improve their own performances and to help the Cleck’ seconds to promotion.”

The 2019 season is Elliott’s first as the Seconds’ Captain having taken over from Chris Dobson but he’s ready for the challenge ahead. “When asked to take over from Dobby as Captain I knew straight away that I needed two players an opening bowler and a spinner,” added Elliott. “Luckily with the signing ofWoody he comes with great ability as a bowler and as a talented batsman. James is a player I played a lot of junior cricket with at Liversedge and he is a consistent performer and as an off spinner he’ll compliment the battery of seam bowlers and the leg spin of Ethan Lee and I believe there are exciting times ahead for the Seconds’.”

Elliott has a wealth of youth and experience at his disposal and his enthusiasm alone will assist his players and not forgetting he has Dobby alongside him and a former Bradford League First Division title winner in Joe Robinson to lend his support.

Cleck's Seconds are boosted by two new quality signings

What’s happened so far?

Player recruitment is of interest to those involved with the Club and Cleck’s quest to bring in new players is on-going.

The Cricket Section's keen to inform everyone of the efforts made without giving away a confidence.

The recent capture of all-rounder Craig Fletcher is a good move with a couple more potential signings in the pipeline.

To put everyone’s mind at rest Skipper Mally Nicholson and the Cricket Committee have put in place a list of potential quality recruits but recruitment is never easy.

Without wishing to divulge too much or tempt fate a top-notch opening batsman who can bowl off-spin is genuinely on the radar and he is most definitely interested in joining the Club.

Of course, a lot of work’s to be done yet and a sensible player’s budget – that hasn’t budged for several years despite conjecture – remains intact and fingers crossed another new face may well be announced in the none too distant future?

In addition thanks must go to Stanley Cars who despite not renewing their sponsorship for the 2019 season have supported the Cricket Section for the last five years. The proprietor Mr Tony Stanley will continue to be part of the Club and very welcome at any time as his support has been invaluable.

A replacement shirt sponsor is in place with an announcement in the New Year plus a potentially larger sponsorship deal with a very renowned name is being targeted.

In addition Mr Scratchings have again agreed to be the Club's match day programme sponsor and thanks goes to Mr Roger Banks who makes sure also that he supports the Cricket Section functions.

Last season's First Team squad will be enhanced for the 2019 season

Dobby reveals he’s good for ‘at least’ two more years!

Chris Dobson is Cleck’s longest serving player and at one stage in his career at Moorend he was a mentor to Andrew Gale who is of course the Yorkshire CCC coach and former Captain.

Dobby’s recent years have witnessed him as the Seconds’ Skipper and he’s done a magnificent job but it shouldn’t be forgotten that he’s not only a loyal Club servant but he’s been a talented batsman and for many years he played in the First Team.

Chris might be in the ‘twilight’ of his career but he remains as a player and in two years, he’ll have played for the Club an amazing 30 years, which is quite an achievement to say the least! Below are words from Dobby in full regarding his time at Cleck’ and his thoughts on the Seconds.

“After captaining the 2nds for seven years it seems like a good time to be handing the job over. I’d pretty much decided over last winter that, if possible, I’d like 2018 to be my last as Captain and as it turned out the committee also decided the same so everything worked out nicely!

The brief I had when I started as Captain was to give some of the Club’s juniors a chance – which in the first couple of seasons was taken to the extreme a few times when I was the only over 18 in our side – and I think we did that fairly well. In the first few seasons we were getting beaten most weeks but eventually – a bit later than I’d hoped to be honest – we started winning and with a bit more luck with weather and player availability we could have got promoted in any of the last three seasons.

Chris Dobson can look on his time at Cleck' with great pride

We now have a core of 2nd team players most of whom started as juniors seven seasons ago - one of which will be taking over the captaincy – so things are pretty good. One of the big challenges in the 2nds is to keep a squad of players happy – there are always other Clubs who are struggling for players so if someone doesn’t get picked for two or three weeks they can always go and get a game elsewhere meaning that we then struggle for players when holidays/1st team calls etc. happen. Hopefully Elliott Hallas can manage to do that better than I did!

I’m sure Elliott will do a fine job as Captain - he's often taken over the past couple of seasons when I’ve been away and done a great job, and I look forward to playing in his team (if selected of course). I see he’s already managed to attend more committee meetings than I did in seven years and, no doubt, a field of four slips and two gullies will be seen at Moorend more often from now on!

From my point of view I’m looking forward to a couple of seasons of only having to think about getting to the game on a Saturday and not the many other things you have on your plate as Captain.”

Dobby believes Elliott Hallas is an excellent choice to 'fill his boots' as the Seconds' Skipper

Cleck’ capture first pre-season signing

Cleckheaton Cricket Club is delighted to announce the signing of Craig Fletcher from Kirkburton CC.

The talented genuine all-rounder has made the bold decision to join the Moorenders from his side in the Huddersfield League and Cleck’s Captain Mally Nicholson has no doubts that the first of several newcomers anticipated to sign for the 2019 season, will do an excellent job for the Club.

Craig is a good signing for us as we needed another all-rounder to support Nick Walker especially asJohn Wood does not want to bowl,” commented Mally. “We’re all looking forward to Craig being in our side and I know he’ll definitely fit in with the rest of the lads.”

Craig’s Dad, Stuart was a hugely respected player for Yorkshire CCC and Cleck’s new signing has pedigree in every way and he should compliment a team still looking to add a top-notch batsman and a spinner to the team.

Craig Fletcher is a welcome addition to Cleck's First Team

There are a number of events planned in the coming months and the Cricket Section asks those interested in supporting the Club to keep an eye on the Events Calendar.

An evening with a Neil Diamond tribute act is coming on Friday February 8th and the Cricket Section’s Annual Dinner takes place on Friday March 8th. Boxer and former footballer Curtis Woodhouse is the guest speaker.

Everyone’s support is greatly appreciated.

Steve Midgley and Antony Lee always support Club even

Elliott relishing Captaincy opportunity

For the 2019 season Elliott Hallas replaces Chris Dobson as the Second team Captain and he is delighted to be given the chance.

Dobby remains as a player at Cleck’ and the Club’s loyal servant is handing over the reins to yet another loyal Club member and player who spoke of his intentions for next year. Elliott wrote the following message.

I’d like to take this chance to publicly thank the Cricket Committee for giving me the opportunity to captain the 2nd X1 from 2019.

I came to Cleckheaton Cricket Club as a 15- year -old boy  from a recommendation from Mark and Sam Bailey to play under 17s and 2nd X1 cricket. From that moment on I’ve not looked back since.

I’m taking over a very strong and talented team that Dobby has spent a lot of time with and I hope to take this team from strength to strength.

Both myself and First Team Skipper Mally Nicholson - alongside various members of the Club’s committee - will be working hard over the winter months to bring in some players that’ll help improve the side on the field and also off the field too.

Once again thank you for the support that the Club have shown me and looking forward to getting down to it in 2019.

Elliott Hallas is a determined and a very popular character at Cleck'

Age no barrier for Woody

John Wood celebrated his 48th birthday on Sunday and his performance the previous day againstMethley showed he’s still an important player for Cleck’.

John revealed he will carry on playing First Team cricket for the Club for at least another season in 2019 and judging by his brisk knock of 59 and 2-12 at the weekend that’s good news for the Moorenders.

It has been well documented that Woody’s tenure at Moorend for the last 12 years or so has witnessed two Championship successes and a Priestley Cup Final place and a Club that prides itself on having a ‘happy ship.’

Mally Nicholson, who took over from John as Captain at the beginning of the season, is becoming a clone of a man whom he can still depend on. Woody’s family were and in many ways still are a massive part of the Club and Mally’s family and friends are taking up a similar mantle. John's brother Ian and his children were at the game on Saturday and no-one at Cleck' forgets Ian's fabulous role for years.

Woody created a solid team ethic, which continues, he had to make some tough decisions at times but with the backing of former Chairman Dave Worrall and the current Chairman Ian Gatenby and the committee the correct decisions were usually made.

Thankfully, we’re not writing John’s ‘playing obituary’ for some while.

His performances on the field are still class – even if he does creak a little more afterwards these days!

John Wood will play on for another season at Cleck' and his legacy will be of a loyal servant as was his brother Ian

Galey tips Kohler-Cadmore for international honours!

Yorkshire CCC first team coach Andrew Gale tips Cleck’s signing Tom Kohler-Cadmore to become a top-class performer at international level!

Tom is of course contracted to Yorkshire CCC but he has been allowed to join Cleck’ when available to develop his game even further, which is a massive plus for the Moorenders and a help to both the player and his County.

Former Cleck’ star Galey remains close to many players, members and friends at Moorend and he gave the Club’s website the following comments; “Tom is an excellent player and I believe he has the potential to gain international honours in white ball cricket,” revealed Galey. “He is finding out his own game in red ball cricket but I am confident he’ll be a success for Yorkshire. Playing at Cleckheaton allows him to keep up his good form from the cricket he is playing midweek. I am certain everyone at Cleck’ will be entertained!!”

Galey has had tremendous success with Yorkshire over the last few years as a player, Captain and now a coach and his opinion carries a great deal of weight and his appraisal of Tom’s ability can only benefit all concerned.

Cleck's relationship with the County outfit and Galey in-particular is about trust and when the Club's Captain Mally Nicholson and officials from Moorend met with Tom it was obvious from the outset his attitude towards his role with Cleck' was that he'll be a great guy in the dressing room as well as an astute signing.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore is tipped for international honours by Galey

Cleck’ tie keenly fought contest

Cleck’ tied the friendly game at Undercliffe on Saturday and there were more pluses than minuses in the forty overs a side game.

Mally's side batted first and posted 190 with the loss of five wickets and in reply the hosts made 190-8 with Toby Thorpe hitting the stumps for a run out off the last ball of the match.

The Skipper made 53 not out before retiring and Vice-Captain Nick Lindley retired also after hitting 51 runs. Toby scored 26 runs on his return to his former Club before being given out LBW.

The bowling for Cleck’ was a mixed-bag but 14-year-old Alex Midgley excelled capturing 2-28 off six overs as well as taking a splendid catch. Nick took 2-33 off his eight overs with Johnny Whiteoak andAndrew Deegan taking a wicket apiece. Ethan Lee had credible figures also of 1-31 off 4.3 overs whilstJohn Wood was the most economical with just fourteen runs coming off his five overs bowled.

Woody's economical bowling at Intake Road was instrumental in the tied game

It was vital for the lads to play on grass at long last following the recent wet weather and in bright sunshine the game didn’t disappoint a fairly sizeable crowd.

Although not too much should be read in to a friendly match and with four would be First Team regulars that didn't play at Intake Road set to play at New Farnley next Saturday, the keenly fought game was entertaining and both teenagers Alex and Ethan can be extremely pleased with their performances. Neither of the young men looked out of place and if they continue to work as hard at their game in the future as they have already, they can look forward to good careers but they have a long haul yet but so far, so good.

Toby and Nick seem like they could forge a strong opening batting partnership whilst one or two bowlers looked a little ‘rusty’ but that’s only to be expected.

Overall, thanks to Undercliffe for staging the game on a wicket that appeared to be in excellent condition.

Nick Lindley had a busy afternoon at Undercliffe!


Former Chairman Reviews pre-season

Dave Worrall may have relinquished his duties as Chairman of the Cricket Section after a stint of well over twenty years but he remains an integral part of the Cricket Committee.

Dave alongside Chairman Ian Gatenby and the committee have supported newly installed CaptainMally Nicholson, who has been busy bringing in new faces, which is applauded but those departing are not forgotten.

“It’s been a really hectic and fascinating close season,” admitted Dave. “So much activity, we haven’t seen anything like this I don’t think since we appointed John Wood as Captain over eleven years ago.

The format adopted when looking to bring new players in hasn’t changed though and we have all the new signings joining for all the right reasons. Mally has been nonstop during the winter and having had the opportunity to have a drink and a chat with everyone so far except for Nick Walker and our overseas I am really impressed and if they can gel quickly we could be in for a fascinating summer....weather permitting.

Mally and his men will be hoping to erase the memories of last season's relegation fight!

Sadly we are losing three of our stalwarts in Curtis FreeSam Wilson and Ian NicholsonCurtis joined us from Doncaster and he immediately made an impact on the field, in the dressing room and along withSam they both bought in totally to all the activities and fund raisers we need to do every year.

Curtis’s girl friend Chelsea and his mum Roz and dad Jem also joined in and were always there to support him. Curt’s performances didn’t go unnoticed and he had a couple of County trials during his stay. He will be back at Doncaster next season with the opportunity of some Minor counties cricket as well. We wish Curt and his family all the best and they all know they will be made very welcome back here whenever they are passing junction 26.

Dave Worrall can be seen in the background in the Long Room at Lords with Keith Johnstone in the foreground and both men are 'proud' of their Club side - Dave's comments pre-season show that he respects the loyalty so many players have shown

With Sam it’s a case of music was my first love !! and we have had several music nights at Cleck’ with him and he has gone down a storm...he has a real talent but he can also play cricket and he took on theIan Wood role when Ian had to retire and became a real established member of the team, he left nothing on the field and as with Curt he was well supported by his parents and again we hope to see the Wilsonfamily on a regular basis.

We also have to say a huge thanks to Ian Nicholson who has also hung up his boots after eleven seasons with us and was an integral part of the most successful Cleck’ team in the Club’s history he was twice a League Champion and so enjoyable to watch when he was flowing...but along with his family he will be here to support Mally and the boys so Eor there will be roller duties at the tea interval.. drinks after 25 overs..We’ll keep him busy !!

Fingers crossed for some sunshine and good luck to the new guys and all our teams.”

Sam will always be a ‘top man’

Sam Wilson has decided to leave Cleck’ in order to fulfil his commitments to his music career.

Sam joined the Club from Pool a couple of years ago having been at Moorend some years before and as a genuine, determined and ‘gritty’ all-rounder he’s made a massive contribution at Cleck’ not only on-the-field but off it - as Sam and both of his supportive and extremely plausible parents Steve and Viv – have attended many fund-raising events and the Club is appreciative of their support.

Sam is a gifted guitarist and singer and he is very much in demand on the music circuit. On a number of occasions he's overseen gigs at the Club and very much as a favour to Cleck'.

He will though continue to play Cricket and for Clayton CC, which is nearer to his home but he leaves with everyone’s best wishes. “Sam’s a great lad in the dressing room; he’s done well for Cleck’ and we’ll all miss him but wish him well and thank him for his contribution to the side,” commented Skipper Mally Nicholson

Confident Keith washes away cancellation talk.

Cleck’s groundsman Keith Johnstone is confident that a decent wicket can be prepared in time for the opening day of the 2018 season on Saturday April 21st, despite recent heavy snowfall and rain aplenty!

There has been talk of cancelling the opening day fixtures and moving them to another date in the Cricket calendar, which is an idea dismissed emphatically by the League’s hierarchy and Cleck’sexperienced groundsman agrees with the sentiments.

“I admit that the outfield at Cleck’ is saturated at the moment but the square’s not too bad,” revealedKeith. “I honestly think unless the rain continues we’ll get some cricket in on the 21st of this month. You have to realise that some Clubs aren’t as fortunate as us and go away in September and don’t come back until Easter, whilst John Hawkesworth and me have been able to put in a lot of preparation work over the winter. If the weather’s been too bad we’ve managed to oversee maintenance work such as painting the benches and sight screens. There’s two weeks to go and the covers won’t go on if they’re needed for another ten days.”

Keith pictured alongside Steve Midgley and John Archer is confident his hard work will see cricket played on the opening day of the season at Moorend

Weather takes its toll on friendly fixture

On Saturday April 14th Cleck’ were due to play Kirkburton CC in a friendly fixture at their home ground, which has been cancelled.

Due to severe weather of late the groundsman at Kirkburton CC has understandably pulled the plug on the contest citing there would be very little chance of preparing a wicket to the required standard in time.

Dobby praises his loyal troops!

Every year we highlight Chris Dobson’s loyal service to Cleck’ and the experienced but unassuming Skipper of the Seconds always comes up with the goods.

Dobby highlights those players and members who have already and will continue to play their part in the 2018 season.

“After missing out on promotion by four points in 2016 we were again challenging last season finishing fourth.  To be honest we did better than I expected after losing Sam Gatenby and Joe Wood from the previous year and if it hadn’t been for a combination of injuries, holidays and first team calls meaning we lost three or four games that we would have expected to win we could easily have ended up higher.

Atta Rehman started the season bowling exceptionally well - we certainly didn’t see a better bowler all year – and then unfortunately injured his back for the second half of the season.  Hopefully he’ll be fit again this year.  His elder brother Shahid had another successful season playing many crucial innings with the bat and also picked up a few wickets with his off-spin.

Richard Noble had a good first season opening the batting and hopefully he’ll be able to kick on this year and turn more good starts into bigger innings.  Brother Steve also played some important knocks and will be given plenty of opportunity for more of the same this year. Joe Robinson made major contributions with both bat and ball all season and I have no doubt will do the same again this year. Elliot Hallas started the season as number six batsman and wicket keeper and ended up as an all-rounder with some amazing bowling figures in a couple of games.  He also did a great job as Captain when I was unavailable. Craig Blackburn, as always, made good contributions with bat and in the field – sometimes with the keeping gloves on as well. Sam Bailey, again, could always be relied on to pick up some early wickets for very few runs and bowled some important spells.

Chris Dobson is highly regarded by outsiders as well as those at Cleck'

Probably the biggest plus for us last season was the way that Ethan Lee and Alex Midgley stepped up.  We knew they were good players but I don’t think we could have expected them to have done quite so well on the field and fitted in as well in the dressing room as they did.  There were a number of times where both Ethan and Alex made major contributions in games with both bat and ball and this year I intend to give them both plenty more opportunities to show how good they are.  The way the rest of the lads batted last year I ought to be able to move myself down the order on some occasions this year and give Ethan and Alex more chances batting higher up. There is a development plan being put in place to ensure that young talented players like Ethan and Alex are allowed to develop their game correctly and to enhance their future progress. We mustn't forget Atta and Shahid whom I know are ambitious and they too will be monitored closely as will the Noble brothers who have performed well.

All in all I think we can look forward to another good season – although as I’m writing this and watching the snow fall we could probably do with a big improvement in the weather over the next couple of weeks!

Finally a few thank yous for last season – Liz Bailey for our excellent teas, Antony Lee and Russ Noblewould always help out by playing (at one point Antony must have got a text from me every Friday afternoon for a couple of months!) or get hold of some juniors to help us out. Steve Midgley was always willing to help us out scoring and umpiring and Ian Gatenby who helped organise scorers, umpires and anything else we needed - usually at the last minute.”

Steve Midgley, Antony Lee and Dobby play major roles at Cleck'

Incredible recruitment drive from Mally!

Prior to his first full season as Captain Mally Nicholson has used all his contacts and influence to bring in seven new players for the coming season during what has been a busy winter.

John Wood stepped down as Captain at the end of last term but thankfully remains as a player and still a genuine influence around Moorend.

However, with the full backing of the committee, Mally has proved to be shrewd and pro-active in re-shaping a team that only just stayed in the ECB Premier League last season but is confident of making a genuine challenge for the Title this term.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore – Johnny Whiteoak – Toby Thorpe – Josh Thurwell – Dave Paynter – Tayyab Tahir – and now all-rounder Nick Walker joins current members; Mally – Nick Lindley - John Wood – Andrew Deegan and Sam Wilson not forgetting there’s the likes of Andy Gorrod and Joe Robinson to name but two waiting in the wings!

Kohler-Cadmore and Walker in-particular are quality signings that have come out of the blue but testimony to the determination of the Cricket Section to bring some silverware to Cleck’ this year. There is quite naturally doubts about whether or not Kohler-Cadmore will play many games for Cleck'. The Club guarantees nothing as his Yorkshire commitments and potential success will determine what he does atMoorend but the feeling is Tom is not a 'gimmick' signing but a genuine and potential match winner for the Club.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore could be available for Cleck' more often than some opponents may think?

Cleck’ acknowledges strength in depth

The Club’s First Team nearly always takes the headlines simply because they are the pinnacle of the Cricket Section but so many others are equally important.

We must acknowledge the work done by the likes of Cricket Chairman Ian Gatenby, who for longer than he’ll care to remember nurtured the younger players coming through the ranks and now Russ Noble has taken the mantle but with Gats still very close by. Seconds’ Skipper Chris Dobson is a true stalwart atMoorend and so many other coaches and family members play their part.

For any aspiring young cricketer the First Team has to be the aim but playing at the top level of local cricket it’s not an easy task. Never-the-less, Cleck’ has a number of gifted young players rapidly improving and showing their worth and the hope is that at least one player will make the First Team in the next couple of years or so.

In the past Eddie and Marcus Walmsley were juniors at the Club and they’ve carved out a good career in local cricket and we should remember Joe Robinson also who won a Championship medal having been with the Club since nine year’s of age. Joe had a brief spell with Scholes but remains a squad player at Cleck’ and a reliable player in the wings.

First team players Nick Lindley and Sam Wilson returned to Cleck’ having previously been part of the set up and just to show how tough it is to make the First Team, Sam Gatenby left to enhance his career and gained promotion with Scholes last season to show what a technically gifted batsman he is.

It is hoped to acquire the thoughts of Dobby who will appraise the Seconds’ and promising juniors at the Club.

Joe Robinson, who is pictured with his Dad Mark, has won a Trophy with Cleck' in the past - but not the one in the photo' we might add!

Former Cleck’ star’s predictions for 2018

Tim Jackson was a popular and very successful opening batsman at Moorend for several seasons before joining Woodlands as their Skipper a couple of years ago.

Tim has kindly agreed to share his thoughts for the coming season.

“The ECB Bradford League Premier Division One continues to strengthen as we are still seeing the effects of the merge some seasons ago. Methley have deservedly worked their way through the divisions and I can see them establishing themselves as a first division side. Scholes who have always been a Bradford League side have done well to beat the aforementioned Methley and a historically strongWrenthotrpe to secure promotion to Div One - they too will be tough to beat especially on home soil where it can be tough place to score runs.

It has been interesting reading the Cleck’ website this winter with so many changes to the first team and I think it was necessary for Cleck’ to get some new blood into the side (having narrowly survived last campaign) and particularly to bring in some young talent that can start to form the next generation atMoorend.

I believe that Cleck’ are in a rebuilding process and whilst some of the signings have promise I think the team needs to be given time and be shown some patience. It is difficult to bring in several players when ideally one or two changes is what would be expected.

The difficulty for Cleck’ is gelling as a team and working out each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully from Cleck’s point of view it will bring in hungry players who are keen to challenge themselves but also prove their ability to the league. The marquee signing of Tom Kohler-Cadmore is a big plus forCleck’; his quality and professionalism along with the experience of Mally NicholsonJohn Wood andAndrew Deegan and Dave Paynter mixed in with the younger talent bodes well for the future.

Andrew Deegan is one of a number of experienced Cleck' players that Tim Jackson praises

I expect Tom to win games for Cleck’ which alone will ensure survival in the division but could help them produce some upsets and who knows maybe result in a good cup run. Tom should score heavy runs at home and on good wickets but it will be interesting to see how he fairs in the Bradford League when conditions are perhaps not what he is used to. His availability will bring its own problems but I know this is something that will have been heavily considered at Moorend.

I think it is hard to argue with what is currently on the website, saying that Hanging HeatonPudsey St Lawrence and ourselves Woodlands are favourites. Heaton deserved their Championship success and I believe they have been a bit unlucky previously not to win a title. There is no doubt that they have been the best team in the last three seasons in terms of performance. Lawrence will be keen to reignite a Championship challenge after what they might consider a disappointing season. The addition of Jordan Thompson will be a big improvement and with a strong opening partnership as well as some fire power in the middle order it could be back to winning ways for Lawrence.

Will Tom Kohler-Cadmore produce runs on alien wickets, questions Jacko'?

I feel that we will be difficult to beat this season, we have had few changes but strengthened with the addition of a proper overseas batter. As we all know this can be a risk but what is guaranteed from a professional cricketer is that they are an exceptional talent and have the ability to single handed win games. I also feel that we are better placed this season. Scott Richardson has spent a whole winter in Australia, The arrival of Bilal who was successful at New Farnley with over 40 wickets will add to our bowling options; he has pace, great variety and being left arm will bring a different dimension. Bilal is also destructive with the bat and will keep in theme that all eleven Woodlands players can score useful runs.

Arguably Woodlands possess the best three spinners in the league and this could be a decisive factor in securing honours this campaign. Having won the Priestley Cup and Heavy Woollen Cup in the last two years and showing more consistency in the League also.

Dark horses for the league have to be FarsleyNew Farnley and Townville. A lot will depend on whatFarsley’s new overseas player has to offer. For Townville it is the way they gel as a team and the difficulty of beating them on home soil that could see them challenge

New Farnley always seem to be talked about an d fancied pre-season but have yet to produce a serious Championship challenge. Not mentioning anyone else is not being disrespectful to other sides but the competition will be strong and any team that starts the season well will be confident of landing the prestigious Title.”

Jacko' remains a respected figure at Cleck' despite nowadays being the Club's fierce rival!

What odds for Cleck’ to win Title?

Sport fans love to predict their teams’ outcome especially pre-season when everything in the garden is rosy and each team is on an equal footing.

As for the Bradford Cricket Premier League Cleck’s followers appear to have a side with a particularly strong batting line up and some big-hitters out there and yet the bowlers might have something to say on that subject.

Josh Thurwell and Johnny Whiteoak who are just two of the Club’s six new signings are young fast bowlers with a lot to offer and they’ll be keen to outshine the batsmen, who on paper look capable of making runs and in addition there’s a younger look to the side with fielding always a vital component.

Traditionally, Cleck’ look after their players and despite his decision to step down and play when needed don’t be surprised to see Andy Gorrod come to the party. Andy is arguably one of the League’s best fielders and a batsman who may have had a difficult time of things over the last couple of years but he is a very talented cricketer and to have him waiting in the wings is a fantastic plus and the Cricket Section is mindful of Andy's loyalty.

There is a great deal of positivity surrounding the Club with the newcomers (that is highlighted below) but there’ll be a number of other sides feeling exactly the same way and to have a punt at Cleck’s odds for the Championship. You’d have to say we’re around 10/1 and Hanging Heaton odds on favourites withPudsey St Lawrence and Woodlands not far behind them?

Johnny Whiteoak will be a key figure for Cleck' in 2018

Former Skipper offers successor best wishes

For over a decade John Wood was a pivotal figure at Cleck’. He built a playing squad from scratch and achieved great success winning two Championships and reaching the final of the Priestley Cup.

Not only was John a leader and a successful player in his own right but he brought his brother Ian Woodin to the Club who became an integral part of the team for many years until a knee injury curtailed his involvement. His mum Anne Wood and many members of John’s family gave incredible support and will continue to do so. Woody can be proud of his achievements and the Club is delighted he continues as a player whilst in typical fashion he wishes his successor Mally Nicholson sincere best wishes in his role as Captain.

John commented; “Last season was extremely disappointing especially as it was my last as Captain. It is certainly not the way I wanted to end my tenure at the club. I think a change in personnel within the team was needed and that is exactly what has happened over the winter months. Six new faces will arrive and I believe that Mally has recruited extremely well.

The players he has acquired all seem to want to come for the right reasons and to develop their game and improve. The team feels much more youthful now and with that comes a desire to succeed. I am sure it will take time for the new faces to settle however the camaraderie we have built over the years will help to minimise the time this takes. I am really looking forward to playing with the new lads and seeing what they are capable of over the next couple of seasons, hopefully we can push again for a title before I retire.

Mally will have many up’s and down’s over the next couple of years however he has lots of support from within the team and the Club in general, he has certainly thrown himself in to the role over the winter. Who would ever have thought Mally would be sat at committee meetings every third Monday offering ideas to push the Club forward, well done pal, keep it going.”

John Wood is a 'winner' in so many ways

Cleck’ capture star County batsman

Yorkshire and former Worcestershire batsman Tom Kohler-Cadmore has joined Cleck’.

The 23-year-old right hand batsman who bowls right-arm off spin also is expected to play around a dozen games for the Moorenders subject to his County commitments but the Chatham-born star is a superb prospect and a player who will be able to realistically assist Cleck’s quest for honours.

He won the Walter Lawrence award for the fastest domestic hundred scored in a first class innings and he is renowned as a destructive big hitting batsman.

Skipper Mally Nicholson simply said; “He is a fantastic signing for the Club.”

Former Chairman Dave Worrall, who remains a major part of making new signings alongside Mally and Chairman Ian Gatenby, is delighted at the Club’s sixth newcomer for the 2018 season. “We had a really good meeting with Tom last week and explained how we operate and we felt he appeared happy with our approach,” commented Dave. “He came across as a real team man and will be delighted to take part in our social side and he’s coming to our Annual Dinner on March 2nd. He wanted to do things properly and speak to other Clubs who had been in contact with him, which he obviously has done. Tomannounced to Mally to let us know the good news and he’s a real coup for us.”

There has been a great deal of hard work gone in to not only the latest signing of Tom Kohler-Cadmorebut capturing five other fresh faces who all have a great deal to offer.

No-one at Cleck’ is arrogant enough to shout the odds because the ECB Bradford Cricket Premier League has quality teams throughout the League and in 2018 it’ll be as tough

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