Ashington Cricket Club chairman reflects on a 'massively challenging' first year

Ashington Cricket Club chairman Steve Storey.Ashington Cricket Club chairman Steve Storey.
Ashington Cricket Club chairman Steve Storey.
Steve Storey revealed that it’s been a ‘massively challenging’ year as he reflected on his first 12 months as chairman of Ashington Cricket Club.

Storey took over from Bob Dunning in December 2022.

“Hats off to the previous chairman, who I’m led to believe was in the post for eight years. I have done one year – but by the end of the playing season in early September, I was exhausted. It’s been massively challenging,” Storey said.

“As a committee we all said the first year was going to be one of transition – followed by the second where there wasn’t going to be as much work to do in terms of big capital outlay and massive work to be done.

“Over the winter we are going to look to tweak things.”

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He continued: “We have worked hard to make this a really pleasant, welcoming cricket club. We are a non-profit-making organisation where every single penny we generate goes back into the club.

“We’ve made improvements this past year whereby the dressing rooms are fit for purpose for the North East Premier League; the clubhouse looks great; the bar is excellent and we have appointed a bar manager for the first time in Mel Harmison.

“Already some of the work which Mel has done for functions has been transformational. It’s a clubhouse that we are proud of and it’s not just improving it for the members and cricketers – it’s also for the guests and visitors to the club and members of the public.”

He added: “It was a successful season on the field, too, in the NEPL Premier Division and congratulations to captain Sean McCafferty and all the other lads – to finish seventh was a fantastic achievement.

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“The second 11 also had a great season under skipper Josh Robinson – only beaten for top spot by a very, very good side in Chester le Street.

“The third XI continues to thrive, bringing youngsters through the Academy, whilst Ashington Women won their league and narrowly lost out in the play-offs.

“It was also an unbelievably successful year for all of the junior teams run by Greg Williams.

“For next season, we have already announced Jeremiah Louis will be coming back again as our professional, which we are all very happy about.”

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He went on: “As a small cricket club we wouldn’t survive without support and we’ve had some fantastic backing from our sponsors.

“It’s well publicised that we reached out to the council when our heating system collapsed and thanks to the generosity of Ashington Town Council, we’ve managed to replace it. The challenge of the club is it’s great in the summer when people come here, but I had underestimated how difficult it is to keep things ticking over in the winter.

“The addition of Sky Sports and TNT sports to try and turn the club into a sports bar has been a success.

“Promoting the club as a function room to hire out is important because if we didn’t do that then we would be faced with closing the club down to save on utility bills.”

The club hold their AGM on Thursday, January 11, and Storey concluded: “We are a club run by volunteers and I’d love to get more onboard to help out.”