YMSC withdraw from league due to player shortage
Young Men’s Social Club have withdrawn from the cricket league ... five years after winning the second of back-to-back Premier Division titles.
The club, who were relegated in 2009, a year after winning the second title, have been struggling from a lack of players within their programme over the last few years and have made the decision not to enter the league this year.
However, vice-president Dennis Hart said it was the club’s intention to return to the league “sooner rather than later”.
“It is due to lack of player personnel that we will not be fielding a team this year,” Hart confirmed yesterday. “We have every intentions of coming back. Our intention is to work through our junior programme and bring these kids through once they get old enough to play. Our junior programme is education based.”
Marshall is credited with quickly turning the club’s fortunes around after he joined as player-coach in 2004 and led them to the First Division limited overs and two-day titles in his first season. Two years later Social Club, a club known for languishing near the bottom of the league tables, had improved sufficiently to finish second in the league as teams around them began taking them seriously.
They club claimed successive titles in 2007 and 2008 and the Central Counties, however, relegation followed in 2009 before they returned to the top division in 2010, only to withdraw from the league midway through the 2011 season because of a shortage of players. They returned to play in the First Division last season but continued to struggle.
“We didn’t have that many people from outside,” Hart insisted. “We had Charlie, Kenny Phillip came back out and joined us because he liked what he saw in the programme, and Glenn (Blackeney) came to us for a year and that was basically fulfilling a promise to his grandfather that he would play for Social Club.”
Hart said a lot of the younger players were either just going off to school or starting careers which made it difficult for them to commit. “It was an odd set of circumstances, really,” he said.
“We never had a big squad and any time we had injuries, vacation or school it took its toll. But we’re not quitters at this club and we will continue to work and hopefully we will come back out and take some baby steps. If we had the playing numbers we would be back out there again this year. With the expense of cricket today — we don’t have a field so we have to hire a field to play — we’ve put tens of thousands of dollars into cricket.”
Marshall, who was at the peak of his career when he joined Social Club, was given a new lease on life as he transformed the team into champions in the space of three years. “I took over the team when they were in the First Division,” he recalled.
“We tried to reach out to players who at one time weren’t able to make many other teams and they found a very comfortable environment at Young Men’s Social Club. Because of the economic situation the players’ work schedules got hectic and some of the players were paying colleagues to work for them on weekends so that they could play.”
Marshall is not totally surprised as what has happened at the club where youngsters are more keen to play football than cricket.
“I saw this coming, when a few players left to go back to their clubs,” he said. “Kevin Hurdle went to Flatts and Jahmiko (Marshall) went back to Bailey’s Bay but the rest of the players stayed with us, but their work schedules were so hectic that they weren’t able to pay guys to cover for them anymore. That forced me to play as long as I did because we were short.”
Marshall plans to help out with the coaching at St George’s this season, possibly playing the odd game as they groom young players.
Social Club’s players will be able to obtain transfers without approval from the club or having to pay the transfer fee. Some have already joined new clubs, including Kearon Trott (to Bailey’s Bay), Damon Rabain (to Cleveland), Clevaughn Darrell to St David’s, Kani Darrell to Warwick and Pierre Smith to Somerset.
The transfer list released yesterday by the Bermuda Cricket Board confirms some interesting moves, with Tre Manders leaving Western Stars to join league champions Bailey’s Bay who have lost Dennico Hollis to Somerset . Southampton Rangers have picked up a few players, including brothers Derrick and Ricardo Brangman from Devonshire Rec, Shannon Raynor from St David’s and Dean Richards from Rec. Dean Stephens is joining Somerset Bridge from Devonshire Rec.
Chris Douglas has joined Cleveland from Willow Cuts while George O’Brien is returning to St David’s from Cuts who have picked up veteran spinner David Adams from PHC while Kameron Fox is returning to St David’s from Devonshire Rec while McLaren Lowe is joining St David’s from Western Stars and Ricky Hoyte is leaving Somerset to join PHC.
Social Club’s rise and fall2004 - Charlie Marshall joins as player-coach; club wins First Division limited overs and two-day titles.
2006 - Finish runners-up in the Premier Division
2007 - Win Premier Division title; Play in Belco Cup for first time and lose to Southampton Rangers in final
2008 - Win Premier Division title again; lose to Rangers in semi-finals of Belco Cup
2009 - Relegated to First Division; lose to Rangers in Belco Cup final
2010 - Promoted back to the Premier Division
2011 - Withdraw from the Premier Division midway thorugh the season
2012 - Return to play in the First Division
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