FEBRUARY Presidents Report

President’s Report to the February Delegate’s Meeting

Semi Finals are almost upon us and in almost every grade the Minor Premiers have been decided. As has been the tradition ever since I became associated with the CSJBA a while ago (a long while actually) the minor premiers will host both of the semi-finals in their division. After that the Executive will allocate finals to fields we consider appropriate. Grand Final Day this year will be at Bonnet Bay with the exception of Senior League which has been conducted throughout the summer on Friday evenings. The SL Div 1 GF will be hosted by Scots at their Phil Austin facility. While on facilities I regularly give a wrap to the dedicated groundsmen in our association but may I mention this month the Waratah field. It usually takes a while to get Waratah up to speed after soccer finishes and then it is a battle to keep their main diamond in good shape. Despite the dry weather this summer their main diamond is as green as I have ever seen it. I don’t know who gets the credit but someone has given it a lot of TLC this season.

Another ground that has improved markedly this season is Barden Ridge. While I know the cagey Stuart Hitchcock works massive hours about the place I suspect much of the credit should go to Matt Saunders who has put many hours into their club house diamond. It is looking great and draining much better than in the past. The grass behind home plate is an inspired solution to the water that puddled there although the new ag drain under the grass probably helps too.

A semi-final date for your diaries: Friday 23rd February.

Both Senior League semis will play at Phil Austin kicking off at 5.30. Main Semi (1st vs 2nd) on ◊1 and the Elimination Semi (3rd vs 4th) on ◊2. Two games, one venue. Should be a great evening. The secretary has ordered fine weather.

The pundits agree that Friday evening baseball has been a big success this season with an excellent standard of play and an enthusiastic approach by the players. Initially it was chilly, very chilly in Spring, but in the summer we have experienced some delightfully balmy evenings for play. The daylight saving took longer to kick in than we anticipated so we were confined to the two fields with adequate lighting for longer than expected and we thank Scots and Dolphins for their assistance. As they were so co-operative in allowing us to access their facilities we have offered them a role in the finals as opposed to the tradition of playing at the home fields of the participants.

Our efforts to allow our high performance players to experience more At Bats during the season has also been grasped with both hands by many players. A number of Junior League Div 1 players have been appearing in the SL Friday matches with some permanent fixtures in their sides. Daniel Cummings from Scots has played every game for Bosco SL (dual registered); Brad Thurecht has played for Cronulla each week with Conrad Moss and Liam Pollard making guest appearances; Nathan Howarth is usually in the Giants line up while Makenzie Dean and young Jye Burns have also had a run (Jye hit a triple in his first Friday night experience then wanted to know how much he should accept as a sign on when the scouts heard about it); St Pats have made good use of the opportunity with Anthony Tsoukarellis, Chaise Chabi and Trent Jamieson all playing up each week while Lachlan McDowell had a run last Friday. He got a hit and while filling in in the field for Bosco who were short took an outstanding catch in right field to deny Coach Robert’s son Koby of a certain double and probable triple. Bosco will have him back any time. Patties coach Jamie Roberts was conflicted. Great to see his player do so well but it was a 1 – 1 ball game.

While on Bosco – their SL team has 6 players backing up in Big league on Saturdays. A 7th, Kobi Paynter, plays BL for his home club of Yarrawarrah and an 8th, Josh Pearl plays U/18’s for the grade club on Saturdays. Lots of At Bats!

I like to boast that our coaches, players and spectators behave themselves far better than those in associations less cultured than ours and lacking our superior standards. Recently I’ve been disappointed with all three areas. A player sledging both his opponents and his team mates, parents and coaches making snide comments about junior umpires in pronounced stage whispers that surprisingly everyone nearby heard. Not good enough and there will be consequences. We don’t need that sort of conduct and we will get rid of serial offenders. They could consider another sport where poor behaviour is more acceptable. Team sport is about comradery, accepting of others ability, team work, sportsmanship and learning to accept both defeat and victory with humility and grace.

Rep playing opportunities for League Age 10 and 11’s

BNSW has listened to the wishes of the Junior Associations and agreed (albeit reluctantly) to cease discriminating against LA 10 and 11’s that the LL rules compel each club to select in their LL Majors teams. Now all LA 10 and 11 year old players are eligible to play in the BNSW LL tournament to be held in the April school holidays. We will attempt to form two teams to participate in this tournament. It would be logical to assume many of the Worboys Cup players would be involved if they chose to trial but we will need more than the 24 that played Worboys. For a tournament situation 13 or 14 players per team is necessary due to the pitching demands. Also, a few of the Worboys Cup players may be selected in the LL Majors team. There are 5 still in the training squad.

It is anticipated that trials will be held on Monday 26th Feb and Monday 5th March to choose the teams. It is open to all CSJBA players who are age eligible as long as they haven’t transferred to a new club this season. Friendship players are eligible to trial. Registrations will be taken on line. Coaches interested in being involved are to notify the CSJBA secretary (csjbasecretary@gmail.com) of their interest.

A Friendship tournament for our LL Rep teams, Major and Minor, involving Manly and Ryde is planned for the first 2 days of the Easter holiday period at Sylvania Waters. Players should be available for this this event.  Although participation is not mandatory all players know you should never voluntarily let anyone else play your position as they become comfortable with it. Be there or be square!

Peter B