More News & EventsWe know that for all our Junior successes, we need to ensure we find routes for players to enter adult cricket. Not easy with 1,000+ juniors and only 6 adult teams (4 x men in leagues, 1 x Ladies in league and 1 x Sunday friendly). We also need the right culture at the club to make this possible.
A note from the Juniors on Adult success
So it’s worth noting that this past season has seen fantastic progress. Under the management of Jamie Greig, our Pathway section, designed to assist transition from junior to adult cricket and focusing on 16-21 years old, has blossomed. Although winning isn’t the sole aim – it is about offering the chance to play and creating a longer term love and commitment to the game – the section has found success on the field, notably a fine victory away at Wimbledon in the ECB U19 T20 cup, the first time the hosts had ever lost at that stage of the tournament. There has also been success in the Pathway reaching down to players in age groups younger than 16 and beginning their integration in mixed age cricket.
But what has been really noticeable this summer has been the contribution of our ex-juniors in the success of the adult teams. Not that this hasn’t happened before – Alex Tudor of course and our men’s 1st team was led by ex-junior Neil Baker for over a decade and featured many ex juniors – Surrey & Lancashire’s George Edwards for example. But rarely has the volume of juniors coming through married with such success – with 4 out of 5 league teams winning titles.
Taking the 4 men’s league teams, each playing 18 games we fielded 101 different players of whom almost exactly half – 50- came via Spencer juniors. Not bad for transient London. Perhaps even more impressively, 37 of that total are still within our 16-21 Pathway group. Also worth noting that it was not just at the lower levels – our 1st team utilised 24 players (holidays, weddings and in one case the Olympics wreaking havoc with selection) of whom 11 had been juniors.
You never win anything with kids someone once said - kudos to our Captains who took and won with so many of these younger members playing. And also to those many fine players who are not formerly juniors but who make our younger players so welcome.
Finally it’s nice to see the process repeating. It is invidious to pick out individuals but worth specifically noting three contributions by way of example: Saqib Malik who led the coaching on Sunday mornings for the BU8’s played his first full season for the 1sts and was the top run scorer. Meanwhile it was great to see Alex Rackow and Aymun Ali score their debut tons for the 1sts – again two lads who regularly assist with our junior coaching. All three ex juniors, all three playing for the 1sts and all three helping coach the juniors. They are just some of many who contribute across the club and who are a credit to themselves and the club.
(pictured: Our Premiership winning 2XI team. Captained by James Smith)