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The Halewsowen Trophy

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Year: 2009
Awarded to: Richard Fox

Sixteen years ago, Richard re-established Olton & WWCC’s defunct youth team organization. He began with one side at u11 and himself as the only qualified coach.

Today, we have sides at u9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15 and 17. We have a waiting list for young people to join the youth section which is full at 100 members. We have team managers for all those sides and a team of 10 coaches soon to be joined by 3 more who are on courses this winter.

During that time we have won several Warwickshire county championships and cups, notably at u13 and u15  and the u15 side in 2007 made progress to the last eight of the national Portman Cup competition. On occasions last year our club first XI included nine players who had come up through the club’s youth section not to mention all those who have been selected to play for the county at various age groups including former Alec Hastilow winner Marc Webb who is now club captain.

This development has been a matter of steady evolution, taking one step at a time. Richard has taken full responsibility for the youth section:-

  • Keeping records of coaches and players.
  • Preparing coaching frameworks.
  • Organizing coaching sessions out of doors in the summertime, indoors in the winter.
  • Encouraging members to become coaches.
  • Supervising and urging registration of CRBs.
  • Coaching a side himself. Managing a side also.
  • Encouraging the club to invest in youth through new permanent net facilities and equipment.
  • And above all working with adult club captains to integrate young players into the adult club at the appropriate times in their development.

Now Richard has come to a point where he is no longer able to devote all the time he has given in the past. He is not going to walk away entirely but will take on a purely administrative role. He has created a job description for his successor in the role of Director of Youth Cricket who will be the lead coach, supervise and organize the coaches and team managers, and has advised the club on that appointment.

Richard has done a fantastic job for Olton. One example is the telling point of his success. Four years ago he persuaded the club to establish a 4th XI in a league and to included within it a majority of young players;  most of whom were 14 years old and he persuaded a senior club member to captain that side. The side struggled for two years as the young players developed. Then in 2008 they were unbeaten as they won their league and were promoted. In 2009 in the new league they finished as champions. Two years of great success for young players and for our club. That is the testament to his dedication and ability.