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So Much To Be Proud Of

posted Feb 6, 2013, 4:02 AM by Malcolm Fletcher
GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT TO THE 2013 MID SHOPSHIRE LEAGUE AGM on Tuesday, February 5, at the Sir JohnBayley Club (7pm):

Mr President, ladies and gentlemen – tonight we stand on the brink of a new era for our league.

Having successfully made a number of improvements over the last two years, including the website, we are now poised to introduce Mike Beckett’s revolutionary results system to really bring us up to date in this computer age - and help satisfy the thirst for instant information. Your officers have worked hard with Mike and former fixture secretary Steve Wall to frame new rules to try and accommodate the new system which I hope you will approve.

Despite the loss of champions HadleyUSC, after they understandably accepted a late invitation to join the Shropshire Premier League, we will still have more teams playing in the Mid Shropshire League this year than in 2012. Six new teams are up for approval later so we must be doing something right!

Four of those newcomers, and there may yet be more, want to join our Saturday afternoon set-up. That will allow us to split it into two divisions to give it a later starting date, fixture-free bank holiday weekends and space in the programme to hold league competitions with a view to attracting more entries. There might just be a play-off involved between the two divisions . . . so watch this space!

Reflecting on last year there was much to be proud of. The inter-league triumphs of our junior and veterans teams showed the rest of the county that Mid Shropshire was now a force to be reckoned with. We had the biggest crowd at a Harris Cup final in years and the experiment of holding the League Merit finals on a Saturday night was a resounding success. My thanks to all clubs who helped us on these fronts.

The league’s annual dinner at the new venue of the Telford Whitehouse Hotel was attended by a record for recent years of more than 160 people and was a night to remember. And how right it was that our prized asset, our league chairman and his wife, were the guests of honour as we officially unveiled the new name of our league.

Of course there were disappointments – the loss of the junior division being the hardest to take, while the lack of a Dave Ellis challenge match against our friends from over the Atcham Bridge was, we hope, just a temporary blip.

I thank all my fellow officers – especially Frank Booth - club officials and Steve Wall in particular for all the help they have given me over the last 12 months. And I must say that the commonsense approach we have taken with regard to our rule book of late has made it a pleasure to do this job.

We still have much to do – there’s a Shropshire Junior Festival on April 14 to organise and the Shropshire senior inter-league to host on June 8 – but, given our progress in the last two years, I look forward to 2013 with real confidence.