Sunday, 1 March 2015

Something for the weekend

Apologies for the lack of blogging in the week but it has been fiercely busy at work and domestic responsibilities and other things have rather taken up a lot of my time. Don't for a minute think that the blog is losing its appeal for me, just that there's a few balls being juggled right now. No tittering now at the back...

I heard this week that a shortened version of my interview with Walter Goodyear is appearing in this month's issue of Groundsman magazine. Astonishingly, given that he has been a member since 1946, it is the first time that Walter, at 98, has appeared in it, so I am thrilled for him. As I said at the time, meeting him was one of the highlights of my time in doing the blog and I have kept in touch with a most remarkable man with a rich fund of stories. He's also told me a few more things and I intend to visit him again in the coming weeks and have the voice recorder switched on...such memories are priceless and I am glad that I was able to capture them for posterity.

I've also been doing some prep work in advance of doing some umpiring in the coming season up here. I have had to retire from playing because of the hand problem that affected the blog pre-Christmas, but want to remain involved in the game and getting a qualification seemed the ideal way to go about it. So I will be doing some league games up here in the season ahead and am looking forward to it. I just need to cultivate an image now...hmmm...an umpire wearing a sombrero...don't think that's been done yet...

Congratulations to Will Davis on his selection for England under-19s. From what I have heard, this is a young lad with every possibility of a fine career if he works hard. I look forward to reporting on his career in the months and years ahead.

Thanks also to those who have been in touch with comments and suggestions by email. Special thanks to Simon, for alerting me to Mick Newell's suggestion of a regional 'super academy' to cover the East Midlands. The unstated aim, presumably, must be to save them petrol money flitting between Leicester and Derby to look at players worth taking, while the cynical, myself among them, might suggest that they already have one at Trent Bridge.

But it is at Leicester...

For a county of its size and status, Nottinghamshire's record in producing county players is shockingly bad and there are many who dislike them for the ensuing poaching of the players from other counties. I don't mind saying that I am among them and it must be frustrating for Leicestershire fans to see their erstwhile favourites lining up just down the road.

I am pleased to see Derbyshire's policies bearing fruit, the work started by Karl Krikken and Howard Dytham now being brought to fulfilment by AJ Harris and Steve Stubbings. There is as rich a crop of talent coming through now as there has ever been and I expect to see several of them make substantial steps forward in their careers this summer.

With less than two months to go, that's an exciting way to finish a blog!

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