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Time called on a wonderful innings in youth management.

While the season hasn't been the longest with the madness that has ensued through 2020, we thankfully managed some cricket and had the chance to say to goodbye to the managers of the current U15's, Stuart and Penny Dennis. We had a socially distanced catch up (via WhatsApp) to go through their involvement with the club and their favourite memories through junior cricket.

When did you start managing an age group for the club?

Joe joined Poole Town as an under 8. At that time 8's and 7's we're mixed together and managed by Jennifer Pilley. As the under 8's became under 9's the two year groups were separated and the 9's became ours 😊with our first full season was during the summer of 2014

What made you and Stuart decide to take on the team?

It wasn't really a planned or conscious decision!

We were at the Dorset Cricket Centre during the Winter of 2013 with Nick Williams and some of the juniors. I cannot remember the exact circumstances, but do recall emotions were running high after a match. Nick asked Stu if he would mind 'looking after' the under 9's team, of course he said yes (but perhaps didn't really realise what he had just signed us up for 😂)

What is your favourite memory from looking after the team?

OMG favourite memory (singular!) from 6 years.....that's hard.

It was a pleasure to be part of a successful team, achieving cup final victories over Ellingham and Wareham during our early years was fantastic.

We had soooo many competitive matches, we knew our level and enjoyed the unexpected wins.

We built great relationships with other clubs and enjoyed their hospitality on many beautiful summer evenings.

We always enjoyed seeing the kids individual successes - first runs on the board, retirements, worldy catches, hat trick's.....there were so many special moments.

Welcoming new players and their families to the team (and club) was always lovely, knowing that the kids and their parents would be making new friendships was a bonus. We also felt lucky to have so many willing and able younger players at the club who wanted to come and join us when we needed them. It truly is a special cricket family.

Who would you give a giant kit kat to for your favourite performance?

Good job it's a giant kit Kat because it needs to shared by the whole 'team'.

Favourite performance = Summer 2019. Going into the last game of the season there was potential for us, Christchurch and Wimborne to all win the league. It all came down to points earned during the final match. We had to beat Christchurch (which was going to be tough) and keep an eye on the Wimborne result. However, many of our team were on a school trip to the Trenches, so we were joined by a number of younger players. Those on the pitch knew what they needed to do for the team, including their absent friends.

The lads delivered and Poole Town ended as up joint league winners with Wimborne.

Beating one of your closest rivals, with younger players giving it their all, with those absent keeping updated by text showed a true team spirit. The performance reflected our outlook/approach -

have fun with your mates, help each other and do your best 😊🏏❤

Here are some of the memories they wanted to share from their time managing.

Some of the parents have added their comments

"simply a big Thankyou - shame they can’t take on a 5th team and keep the boys together"

"From Dan - Thanks Penny and Stu, you made it really easy for me to fit into the team and made playing fun.

From me and Karl - thanks guys for all your hard work and dedication. Scoring, umpiring and running the team always with a good nature and relaxed approach."

"Thank you Penny & Stuart for welcoming Ollie (& his family) into the team & making his two seasons so enjoyable. Thanks for always being willing to explain rules & locations to Ollies non cricket Mum. I’m sure he will remember these years of cricket very fondly & this has given him the opportunity to move into senior cricket - & hopefully one day play with his enthusiastic grandad!"

While it may be a goodbye to the junior section, we hope to see Penny and Stuart sat on the boundary rope with the multi coloured pens and scorebook comfortably in retirement watching Joe pile on the runs in the senior sides.

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