There is little doubt that with all the administrative changes of the past couple of seasons the NWCU has made good strides in its bid to become a more professional organisation.

Little doubt either that one of the most popular appointments during that time has been that of Connie McAllister to the role of Union President.

Few people typify North West cricket more than the popular Ardmore man. Senior player turned International Umpire turned Union figurehead.

North West Chairman Andrew Fleming has already paid tribute to the former spin bowler suggesting that he was "a perfect fit for the role and hopefully would continue to represent the Union for years to come."

Connie himself admits that he genuinely enjoys his reasonably new position and says that he fully respects the demand that goes with it.

"I really love what I'm doing but I'm also very conscious of the fact that I'm representing every club in the North West. It's a role I take very seriously and as well as watching a lot of games I do everything in my power to be available for all end-of-season presentations and functions."

Looking back on 2017 the President says there were many highlights for him, one of which was seeing the senior cup final return to Beechgrove.

"Following cricket from an early age meant I watched a lot of finals at the ground and was fortunate enough to play in a few as well. Because of that it was a proud experience for me to watch last year's as Union President."

Connie's role looks like becoming a 3-year term from here as the new North West set-up beds in and he readily accepted that Ireland's rise to Test status will mean an increased workload in his role as Ambassador.

"I'm really looking forward to that part of things" he admitted. "I've struck up a great relationship with the likes of Henry Tighe and Brian Walsh and the three of us understand and appreciate the roles we've been given. Both men are fantastic company and I can tell you are exceptionally knowledgeable about their cricket as well.

'I'm looking forward to renewing those acquaintances again in 2018 and am already planning the first trip to Leinster for the 3-day game in May.

"Obviously it will be a massive honour to be there to watch Ireland play their first men's senior Test match against Pakistan and that is something I'm very much looking forward to as well.

"I'm delighted to have been entrusted with this opportunity by the North West and I intend to give the very best I can to the position.

"It's probably fair to say I'll be watching even more cricket in 2018 and that includes outside the region as well as inside.

"Apparently the schedule is very heavy in May and June with representative cricket of one form or another almost every week. Well, you'll hear no complaints from me about that" he smiled.

One thing is guaranteed for those who will find themselves in the North West President's company for the first time in 2018. You won't need another introduction the second time...