Pitch Problems Plenty

Eastleigh Cricket Club continue their search for a permanent home as they look to gain promotion back into Division five at the first time of asking.

Eastleigh Cricket Club start their fourth season as a team in Division Six of the Hampshire Cricket League Central off the back of being relegated from Division Five last season.

However, the club struggles when it comes to having a regular ground to play on every Saturday. Social manager Michael Matthews speaks about the difficulty his team has had in finding a permanent home.

“Obviously every local team, so everyone we face has the same pitch each year. But because we are a new club, it’s been 3 years and we have had 3 different pitches. So obviously it’s financial as well because each pitch is a different price then that means everyone has to pay a bit more. So long term we would like the same pitch every year. Then that means the kids and juniors can come up into it so we can have a big name”

“Mainly again is just to find the pitch our pitch is our biggest goal, because as soon as you get the pitch you can bring in more sponsors, more people to the club, your own personal nets and it goes on and on. I would say that’s our biggest goal for this year.”

However, having a place play is only one of the many challenges that his newfound team faces. Troubles range from pitches to people as well as often struggling to get 11 players available.

“Mainly just team availability, maybe people got family plans so that means if we need 11, we’ve only got six, then obviously we’ve got a big problem to find the five other people. Same with the indoor league we need six-a-side if there was four people, we need to find another two.”

“So, finding a pitch is still the hardest thing to this day, but also finding the right sort of people. Mainly everyone thinks money and pitch but also finding the right people for the environment of the club is important.”

Matthew’s team is still optimistic that an earlier start to training and a more focused approach as well as three years of experience under their belts can propel them back into Division 5.

“Well, we are hoping to go back up to Div 5, obviously last season was tough because we are again a brand-new club, so the whole 11 every week was different, not everyone knew each other’s capabilities. But this season we will now start the nets early and hopefully get that first place and win a trophy.”