Public school image has limited club growth – Fletch

Ian Fletcher Price
Ian Fletcher Price

NEW Eastbourne Cricket Club chairman Ian Fletcher-Price insists it’s important to change the club’s ‘public school image’ in order to encourage more youngsters into the sport.

Fletcher was appointed as chairman following the club’s recent AGM and insists one of his priorities was to increase the numbers of young players from public schools.

Fletcher-Price said, “That is the perception out there and if we ignore it then we are deluding ourselves.

“I want to get the numbers right and get an even split between private and state schools.

“This is not an elitist club but I’m aware that this view is held by some around the town.

“We do have a number of private school players in our first team but we want to encourage younger players from all across the town.

“It’s for the long-term benefit of the club as the players from the likes of St Bede’s and St Andrews get wrapped up in school cricket and the club miss out with them from the ages of 10 to 14.

“It is an area we need to look at in order to bring as much talent into the club as possible.”

Fletcher-Price also reserved special praise for last season’s groundsman Jamie Rumsden and believes the youngster’s fine work on the wicket could encourage Sussex Cricket Club to consider the Saffrons as a viable option once again.

He said, “The work Jamie has produced on the wicket can only bode well for us.

“We would love to host Sussex Cricket at the Saffrons once again but it has to be on the right terms for both parties.”

After the Saffrons AGM Fletcher praised the work achieved by his predecessor Paul Hacker who stepped down as club chairman and will oversee the youth section as Colts Chairman.

“Paul did a fantastic job as chairman and we would like to thank him for all the hard work he gave to the club as chairman.

“The AGM was a very positive meeting and we are all looking to move the club forward.”

Mark Tomsett will continue as first team skipper with his younger brother Luke captaining the seconds. Their father John Tomsett has taken the role as deputy chairman.

“It was a testing season at times for Mark but he did a tremendous job for the first team,” enthused the chairman.

Chairman: Ian Fletcher-Smith, deputy chairman: John Tomsett, secretary: Nick Reason; treasurer: Mark Trubshaw; first team captain: Mark Tomsett; first team head coach: Alan Wells; second team captain: Luke Tomsett; third team captain: Ian Marshall; colts chairman: Paul Hacker.