AFTER a 2020 of solid recruitment and strong results, Stockton & Northern Districts Cricket Club Captain Nick Foster is confident his club are in the best possible position for a successful 2021.
The club went into the end of year break in second place in the Newcastle District Cricket Association
Robert Holland Club Champions leaderboard, with all four grades having enjoyed a successful start to the season.
“I think as a club, certainly we are on an upward curve at the moment,” said Nick.
“In first grade we are doing well, we are leading the second grade and in the other two grades we are mid table.”
Nick said the club’s position of strength was based upon good off-season recruitment.
“We have really beefed up our coaching resources and things like that, and have been reasonably successful so far.”
The club captain believes the impact of COVID-19 on winter sport seasons, has played a part in bringing keen players to cricket in 2020.
“In general, the fact that winter sports were heavily impacted, people were pretty keen to get out and active, so I think we benefited from that slightly.
Nick said he was proud of the way his club adapted to changing circumstances in recent months.
“I think as a club, we kept on planning as the season would go ahead, and were very fortunate that it has.
“There have been a few changes in the way we do things, but no challenge has been insurmountable,” he said.
As well as captaining Stockton, Nick leads both the Newcastle Representative and NSW Country sides.
“I am born and bred in Stockton, I have played for Stockton all my life and for Newcastle for a long time.”
He believes the club does a good job in preparing for elite level cricket.
“I think it is a good thing to have local players playing on a representative level and that’s something we have always strived for as a club.
“We have been really lucky as a club, we have pretty much continuous representation for NSW country for the past 12 or 13 years.
“It’s pretty rare, we have been fortunate with recruitment and have produced some really top cricketers.”
Stockton also reap the benefits of a background staff with experience at representative level.
“The club is really lucky to have David Redden as a manager,” said Nick.
“Dave has been the manager of NSW Country team for about six years.
“It’s not just the on field areas which we have representation at the elite level, but also our off-field personnel.”
All things point to a strong end of season for Stockton & Northern Districts, with action resuming this weekend at Lynn Oval.
“In the Newcastle and Port Stephens region, we are pretty well placed as a sporting club.
“Things are boding well for the remainder of the season,” said Nick.
By Doug CONNOR