Andrew Blair White (CricketEurope)
Tector eyes big season for YM despite big losses
It was a frustrating season for Jack Tector and his young YMCA side in 2018 as they failed to build on a extremely promising start to the campaign. However, despite the loss of Irish international Simi Singh, and seam bowler, Jarred Barnes, Tector believes 2019 could be the prime season for YMCA to fulfil the potential that has been lurking within the club for a while.
The big blow that YMCA have received over the close season so far was the departure of Simi Singh to the Hills. Singh, who has now established himself as a regular in the Irish setup, had spent a thoroughly successful eight years at Claremont Road and Tector was keen to acknowledge Simi’s achievements for the club.
“Yes we are obviously really disappointed to lose Simi, his record speaks for itself. The club were really proud to see him make his Irish debut as a YM player,” said Tector. However, he added that due to his growing international commitments meant that Simi was “only available to us in a handful of games and meant he couldn’t coach any longer.” It was a blow for the club, but not one that Tector thinks will hinder the side too much.
Despite Simi’s departure, YMCA are being continuously blessed by a blossoming youth academy led by the evergreen Kamal Merchant. Jack’s younger brother Tim, and Mitchell Thompson were the latest youngsters to represent the first team having come through this highly acclaimed youth setup.
“The two guys performed well beyond their years. It was evident that both had worked hard in the winter and they didn’t look out of their depth whatsoever,” said Tector about the two Irish underage internationals.
He added: “ The club, invest significant resources into the academy and it is so rewarding to see the younger guys come in and perform at the highest level in club cricket.”
A man who was instrumental in YMCA’s solid season in 2018 was Jarred Barnes, who had joined from the North to play in Leinster Club Cricket for the first time. He was a big success at Claremont Road but his departure to Rush for the 2019 season felt a premature end for his spell at the Sandymount side.
However, Barnes’ commute from Dundalk was going to be much simpler while playing for Rush so his lifestyle decision seems justified. “Barnesy was fantastic in his one season for us. He works hard and it was great to play a few Lightning games alongside him,” said Tector about the South African seamer.
However, YM have been buoyed on the run up to Christmas with the announcement of the Anders’ family to Claremont Road. The Anders’, who have been stalwarts of Phoenix for so long, endured a slightly turbulent final season out in the Park.
The arrival of Tom, Rory and Ian will significantly assist with quality at 1st and 2nd team level within the club. “We are delighted to announce that Tom, Rory and Ian Anders are joining the club. This is fantastic news and I know they will fit in really well both on and off the pitch,” said Tector about the new arrivals to Sandymount.
It was a timely boost to the YMCA squad for the 2019 season. The Anders will fit into the young atmosphere already ingrained within the club, and it looks like YMCA will stick to what they know and keep backing the young players coming through the Kamal Merchant conveyor belt.
“We have to keep backing what we think is the right way forward. We are a young team who love each others company. Paying numerous players is simply not viable for us,” said Tector.
Two players that stood out last year were both Asher Abassi and Padraic Flanagan. Jack said: “Yeah it’s been brilliant to see. I’ve played with Flan the whole way up and he’s really loving his cricket these days.”
Tector added: “Asher has such raw talent but continues to learn and improve. He had a good end to the season last year.” The long term aim for the club will now be to push for trophies. Tector was disappointed that they didn’t get their hands on any silverware last year and is determined to put that right this season.
With Tector himself opening the batting and his two brothers, Harry (Ireland Wolves Captain) and Tim (Ireland u15 Captain) boosting the order, YM could be in a good position for years to come.
“I want us to enjoy our cricket, improve and win a trophy. I was disappointed that we didn’t last season but here's to a good 2019,” was Tector’s parting comments.
Eyes will be eagerly fixed on Claremont Road during 2019 to see whether this young side can progress to their potential.