Bright future ahead for Springhill cricket
Springhill Cricket Club are in high spirits as they prepare for the new season.
The club, which is situated in Lower Penn, held its first AGM meeting in its brand new pavilion earlier this month.
Now all three of their teams are gearing up for the new campaign in the Staffordshire Cricket Club Championship.
Springhill CC was set up in 1949 and they have been based at their present site since 1950.
They had been without a clubhouse for over a decade, though, as their old wooden pavilion was demolished in 2005 after an arson attack.
Three years ago, the club was awarded £50,000 of National Lottery funding to develop its new club-house.
Back in September, they secured a £50,000 grant from Biffa Award to complete the second phase of the development.
Sport England were among others to provide financial backing and the building, which cost an approximate total of £180,000, is now in place, with just a few finishing touches to put to it.
Club secretary Dan Kinsey is relieved to now have a 'solid' facility and said: "It is a brand new clubhouse, a facility that wasn't there at all previously.
"Our old wooden pavilion was burnt down 11 years ago, gutted in an arson attack, and it almost put the club to an end.
"The facility is solid, it is brand new. There are two changing rooms, which will have shower facilities.
"There are new toilet facilities, a big community room with a kitchen, and there will be a bar area too.
"We are putting the finishing touches to it now and, at some point in the summer, we will be hosting our grand opening for the building, which we see effectively as the relaunch of the club."
The club is being supported by South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson and NatWest Bank as they prepare the playing surface and construct new training nets for the forthcoming season.
Volunteers from NatWest will be helping club members to fit the new mobile nets while Williamson is due to pay a visit.
On Sunday, the club will be holding their pre-season social event with a celebratory barbecue, which Kinsey has dedicated to those who have helped out at the ground over the past couple of weeks.
He said: "The big pre-season club social is for everybody who helped us out last week, or is giving us a hand this weekend.
"Gavin Williamson has been a massive supporter of our club. He has really helped along the way.
"We have got a new mobile cage which we are putting together and is set to be used for the first time at the weekend.
"It will replace our old static nets which took a battering over the winter."
Springhill's first-team remain in the Staffs Clubs Division Two this season. The seconds finished third in Division Four last term, behind winners Pelsall and Burntwood St Matthew's.
The third-team were 13th in Division Five, but they did enter the league as a brand new team.
Kinsey is particularly hoping the second XI gain promotion this term and added: "This year is a bit of a consolidating year for us. Our main aim, though, is for our second team to go up a division.
"Our first-team are a strong side so we expect them to possibly challenge at the top again in the second division.
"We want our second team, who are in the fourth division, to really push for promotion. The thirds are still a new side, last season was their first as a team so, hopefully, they can hold their own too."
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