WITH the cricket season still a number of months away, Newbuildings Cricket Club are already planning for the future.
The Waterside club hosted a development information presentation to the North West Cricket Union recently, outlining significant plans for the onset of new state of the art facilities at the village’s existing Community Centre.
Development Officer Gordon Moore gave Union Representatives a tour of the site before overseeing a PowerPoint presentation detailing the initiative which will take several years to complete.
Newbuildings Cricket Club entered a team in Intermediate 1 of the North West League in 2012, playing their home matches at the Rectory and they enjoyed an excellent season on the pitch, but the new plans look set to take the club to another level.
The cricket club has joined forces with Newbuildings Utd Football Club and the committees have been hard at work in the past 12 months securing land surrounding the existing Community Centre for a sports development programme.
The first phase is the provision of a cricket pitch complete with a viewing area, car parking and practice nets and that will be followed by the building of a 200-capacity stand at the football ground.
Phase 3 of the development will be a brand new clubhouse which Newbuildings hope will become the focal point for the local community.
Giving his detailed presentation, Mr Moore stated that “a very dedicated team had been working very hard in the past year to ensure that work would begin as early as possible. We have an independent team in place whose job it will be source funding from all the various outlets and we have already given our presentation to Derry City Council and had favourable feedback.
“The cricket pitch is our top priority at the minute and we are hoping for the full support of the North West Union and indeed CricketIreland for our venture.
“Having secured the land we have already put the clearance phase out to tender and we believe that as soon as we are given the green light to begin the actual work, the site could be made ready to start within a week. Our hope is that the bulldozers could be in preparing the ground before the end of 2013 although we are obviously dependent upon a number of processes for that to happen. “The club has agreed with Brigade to play our league games at Beechgrove in 2013 and we will also be using their facilities to develop midweek and underage teams.”
North West Coaching and Development Officer, Brian Allen, confirmed that he had been working with the club periodically over the past 12 months and was delighted that they would be encouraging youth cricket as part of their programme. “I have been in two Primary Schools in Newbuildings in the past few months and I welcome the fact that the club is actively engaging youth cricket as part of their overall development programme. I will be happy to offer whatever support I can as part of that and look forward to working with Christopher Cooper (Assistant Secretary) and the team in the coming season.”
North West Secretary Jim Lindsay congratulated Newbuildings on their work to date but suggested that it was imperative that the local Union is kept fully informed on progress.
“I am aware that Newbuildings were welcomed into the North West league on the understanding that substantial progress would be made in the intervening time. The club will be due to report back to the Union with an update at the end of the 2013 season as part of that agreement however there is no doubt that the off-field progress presented has been very thorough and professional.”