Guest column: Doncaster Town Cricket Club chairman Steve Ward

Doncaster Town captain Alex Gosney
Doncaster Town captain Alex Gosney

This year will be the final season for the Yorkshire League in its current format and Doncaster Town will embrace the new structure that will come into play from 2016.

A new Yorkshire League South will be created and will be made up of the current seven clubs from South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, plus the top five teams in the South Yorkshire League.

This league will be managed by a team of experienced officials, including personnel from both leagues, and will be part of a Yorkshire Cricket Pyramid System which will incorporate three other Premier Leagues across the county.

Having taken over as chairman this winter, I am keen to ensure that Doncaster Town will continue to develop as a club to enable us to compete with the richer clubs in the new league.

Preparations are well under way for the 2015 season - which the first team start at home to reigning champions Yorkshire Academy on April 18 - and we have quickly put things into place to improve facilities, club structure and playing strength.

We plan to expand the number of coaches at the club, to ensure that everyone gets the opportunity to play at the highest possible standard.

Funding is being sought to improve the practice facilities, artificial wickets, machinery and scoreboard at Town Fields.

I also see the junior section as a vital part of the club and hope to improve links between the juniors and seniors.

In addition to the four Saturday sides that we will field, I also want to ensure that ladies cricket is played at Town Fields and forge links with the disability cricket community in Doncaster.

Off the field a new committee structure has come into force, with club officials and committee members targeting their skills on specific tasks, such as finance, facility management and cricket.

Phil Gosney has stepped down as chairman but is still heavily involved in the club, while we’re pleased to welcome Eric Widdup back to club who has taken on the role of finance chairman. Eric has experience of the role, having been club treasurer for a number of years during the 2000s.

Planning is also ongoing for a major fundraising Sportsman’s Dinner in March. Hopefully full details will be announced soon.

Winter nets are underway too under the watchful eye of Level 2 coach Stuart Guy. They are held at Rossington All Saints on Tuesday evenings (8-9pm). New players are more than welcome to come along.