Jan 292014
 

ROSSMAIN0001Heywood CC have a spot open at the top of the order following the news that Ross Zelem has left the club.

Ross has joined Liverpool Competition side Leigh for the 2014 season following four successful seasons playing first team cricket at Heywood.

Last season Ross scored 750 runs at an average of over 30 as a 17-year-old at Heywood, to go with the 590 he scored in 2011 and the 599 he scored in 2012.

It’s a big blow to Heywood in that it leaves a hole at the top of the order, and means we lose a player with the potential to score 1000 runs plus in a season.

But it creates a chance for a young homegrown player or ambitious and talented non Heywood player to fill the slot and make a name for himself at one of the best grounds in Lancashire, and an ever-improving wicket.

Cricket chairman David Fare said he was sorry to see Ross leave, but is a bit bemused by the modern trend of switching clubs so often among young players.

He said: “I am sad to see Ross go as he will be very hard to replace.

“However, I am disappointed in that we have shown faith in Ross, given him a chance and laid things on for him, and now he is joining his third club before he is 20.

“It’s a growing trend among young players to move often between clubs – when they look  back on their playing days they won’t have the deep bonds and roots that other more settled players have.”

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 January 29, 2014  Tagged with: ,  Add comments

  15 Responses to “Zelem Leaves For Leigh, Opening Spot Available”

  1. I think some of the things said about him joining another club is stiff and unwarranted. It’s obviously disappointing to lose a very good player but he’s joining a completion that’s a step up and if you wanna make it as a cricketer, you obviously wanna test yourself against the best possible.

  2. Completely agree with you, Ross has been a great lad on and off the field since he came to the club and as captain (for that time) I am very grateful to him for all his efforts. His family likewise have been an absolute pleasure to have around the club and threw themselves wholeheartedly into club life and will be sorely missed too.

    It is a fact of life that young players will move clubs these days and in this case the rationale is spot on, Ross is leaving to play in a Premier League that, on the whole, has far better batting tracks than the CLL can offer.

    This news vindicates the decision by the committee to successfully obtain a grant to re-lay the wickets to ensure that they have more pace and bounce and are more akin to tracks played on at a higher level. Once this is the case we will be able to compete with the Liverpool Comp in terms of facilities.

    It has been a frustration in the past when players have left to play in a lesser standard but you cannot criticise a youngster leaving to try and better himself. It was the very reason Ross came to Heywood in the first place. To add, the way in which Ross handled himself in making this decision was first class and exactly what I would have expected from a young man like him.

    Ross leaves with all of my best wishes for success both at Leigh and Lancashire and will always be welcome back at Heywood in the future should things not work out as planned.

    Thank you to Ross, Pete and Karen for all the support they have given to both me and the club over the past 4 years and we hope to see you down at the club in the future.

    Bobby

  3. I’ll get lambasted whatever I say, but I agree with David. And good batsmen have flourished in recent times at Crimble. Chris Schofield in a run chase batted exceptionally, as have all the top Heywood batsmen at times. That more runs weren’t scored is not always the fault of the pitch.
    It’s always a shame to see players leave the club, especially with a good team and a good ground at their disposal.
    But sometimes a change is a good thing for the player and that should be Ross’ only concern – what is best for him.

  4. I hope I speak for the majority at HCC when I say everyone will wish nothnig but the very best for Ross in his move to Leigh!

    Ross is a good young lad from a great family and Leigh have landed themselves a talented batsmen and a nice lad.

    If I’ve read Dave’s word’s correctly above though, and as far as I can see, these are the only comments on the situation, the club are just bitterly dissapointed to be losing a young lad who had beed nutured and looked after by the club. On top of this, Ross has shown tangible development whilst at the club and its just a shame we won’t get to see him blossom yet futher with the HCC badge on his chest.

    Dave does have a point though in relation to the generic movement of youngsters amongst clubs. Far too many move for the wrong reasons and the point here is their long term lack of a ‘home’ club in the years to come!

    HCC would never and will never step in the way of someone’s developemnt and we’re also rightly proud of the many youngsters who’ve gone on to be a part of the Lancashire and other county cricket club set ups! Looking up Kate Cross in Google will demonstrate what HCC are all about when it comes to youth development and progression!!

    Having played with Ross when he first joined, i’m disappointed to be losing him and his family from the club! It would have been nice to see him fulfill his undoubted potential for HCC but everyone has the right to their own decision and we have to respect that!

    Lets not forget though that this club has produced plenty of kids in the last decade or so who have gone into the county system at various levels!

    Good look Ross, you’ll be missed by all at HCC.

  5. So sorry to lose Ross, but he is moving to better himself in cricketing terms and for the right reasons. I hope he will look back at his time at HCC fondly as a time when he has learned a great deal in a good environment. I know that Karen and Pete will have had sleepless nights about this decision as they have enjoyed their time at Crimble and have made many friends. We will be looking at Leigh’s results keenly hoping to see Ross getting a pile of runs. On a personal front I will miss my mate Pete and will have to trek round the boundary on my own now, (and have to buy the first pint).

  6. Totally endorse all that Bobby has said and it just emphasises all the more the need to bring more money into the club to enable us to better our already excellent facilities. Let’s all hope that Ross goes on to bigger and better things and that we can say we were in at the start of a great cricketing career.

  7. Just read the news and the responses.Totally agree with the Cosses.Best wishes Ross.

  8. Good luck Ross. Not sure anybody can blame a player, particularly a young player, who chooses to leave in order to improve their cricketing ability.

    I have never had the opportunity to play with or against Ross but I have heard some very positive reports from those who have. It will be good to see if he can perform on a consistent basis at a higher level of cricket and if he can, then I am sure that it will fill him with confidence when he gets the opportunity to play with the Lancashire representative sides.

    In recent years we have seen 3 noticeable players leave including myself. I went to play in the Derbyshire Premier League and then at Bootle in the Liverpool Competition whilst I was playing with Lancashire’s second X1. I then had the chance to be a club professional at Baxenden in the Ribblessdale League. From here I progressed and went on to represent Staffordshire at minor counties level and also play in one of the best, if not the best, ECB premier leagues in the country, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire for Longton before heading back to Bootle. Sandwiched in between were seasons back at Heywood and a whole host of injuries.

    Tom Hardman left to take up a professional role at Clitheroe in the Ribblesdale League and then moved to Longton in the North Staffordshire South Cheshire Premier League whilst representing Lancashire at various levels.

    Steven Kirby left Heywood to take up a professional role at Edenfield, again in the Ribblesdale League and then we all know what happened from here.

    These 3 players played junior cricket through all age groups at Heywood but only left to try and better themselves and play at the best level they could.

    The fact is, that the Central Lancashire League is no longer regarded as a top league in the Lancashire area, particularly since the pyramid/premier league system was introduced in 2000 and in order for players, especially those out of the county system, to get recognised, they had to do something.

  9. Of course Ross should do what he needs to do if cricket is still a career possibility and it is his goal. Hopefully he’ll fulfil this goal and the very best of luck to him- on balance it sounds like the right call for him at this stage of his life.

    My main point though is that beyond the committed and talented few who make it all the way to being an established professional, there comes a time for every player where cricket becomes about sharing sporting challenges and broader experiences with a group of friends (players and supporters) who make your life richer.

    In my opinion, I believe this is almost always going to be best achieved at a club you have an affinity with and loyalty to beyond whether they’ll pay you a few quid, how hard their wicket is or where they are in a pyramid. The standard of cricket plays a part of course and the CLL has to raise its standard where it can (or merge) if it is going to attract and retain the Ross Zelems of this world in the future. Just my opinion and each to their own.

  10. Well said purse, it’s a shame some of the players that that did leave to better themselves, did not get everyone’s best wishes!! Like Ross has received.
    Ross I personally wish you all the best and hope you go on to greater things, Peter and Karen you are a joy to be around and it’s been a pleasure to have met you. Take care Zelems
    I would also like to take this opportunity to thank members, and former team mates for my time at heywood, it’s been a great ride and I take great memories with me, good luck for the future, also rob Morley your assistance over last 2 seasons has been fantastic, and to fash for trying in other things ( you know ) to both of you I only phone call away .

  11. It is such a shame that the CLL has become a feeder league for the liverpool comp and the northern league. Who will be the first CLL club heywood, rochdale, norden etc to join these leagues or will we have a ECB greater manchester premier league – all exciting.

    We have lost greg butterworth to bootle – also michael harling to st annes – both lads who are looking to progress in their cricketing careers.

    Unfortunately the days were players play for their local clubs for 10-20 years might have come to an end.

    I think it might be time to cut down on professionals from overseas and concentrate on our own lads.

    I ask myself one question why are people really leaving the league? $$$

  12. Spot on Gilly.

    How dare you suggest that players who leave our clubs to ‘further their cricket careers’ giving the reasons as better wickets and standard of cricket, are just as interested in the financial gain achieved, you may have ruffled a few feathers here.

    You also suggest that we should concentrate on our own players rather than professionals, ie open league, my problem with this is the massive turnover of players season on season all chasing the best offer as happens at the premier league clubs. I can’t speak from experience and i may be wrong but does this not leave clubs without any soul.

    As a i am now a spectator i know what i would prefer to watch, genuine league cricket in the current format, one professional and ten local players or premier league cricket with players from all over the place getting a few quid.

    As Bobby has commented earlier CLL clubs need to aim to have the best facilities available to their own players.

  13. Ian, it is a shame that some people are classing the CLL as a ‘feeder’ league for the Liverpool Competition as I am pretty sure that this is not the case.

    Looking at the current situation at Rochdale Cricket Club it appears that they have a very strong squad at the minute. Michael Harling has done very well to be selected for Cumberland minor counties and has had the opportunity to hone his talents in Australia over the winter. Would he give himself the best opportunity of being a regular in the Cumberland side playing second team cricket or being a bit-part player in the first team at Rochdale?

    Also, with Rochdale recently acquiring Dale Highton and Oli Makin, both of whom are spin bowlers, as well as employing an overseas professional who also bowls spin, would Greg Butterworth be able to get the overs he needs in order to improve his cricket or to supplement his current ability, with 4 spinners in a side where only 50 overs can be bowled in the whole innings?

    What will come without question though, is that these lads will still be welcomed down at Rochdale Cricket Club with open arms and no doubt they will still support the club on and off the pitch.

    David, should an individual be fortunate enough to supplement their income by earning monies from a sport in which they love be frowned upon? Not everyone comes from an affluent background or have high paid jobs in what is a tough economic climate as I am sure you are aware. Put the shoe on the other foot for a moment, if you were offered a promotion at work or a job at a similar company for more money, would you take it? Your old work and work mates will still be there and be glad to have you back whenever you are around and welcome you back with open arms won’t they??

    Times have changed and people need to look at the bigger picture.

  14. Great debate people – If I’m allowed, I’ll throw my two-penneth in :

    I have to find myself agreeing with Gilly. The vast majority of players that leave their club do so for money. I’m not commenting on Ross, as I don’t know the lad, or the situation of him leaving. But for every one player you show me that has left for ‘cricketing reasons’ I will show you twenty five that have left for the money. Over the last five years we have seen a lot more players move within our own league, or leave to lesser leagues, than players that have gone on to so called better leagues.

    I personally have no issue with players getting paid. It’s obviously something I have never had to worry about (I think clubs are more likely to have a whip round to pay me not to come).
    Who are we to frown upon talented people being paid? It can pay peoples mortgages, help them through university, pay for a family holiday etc…

    The issue that people are talking about is the standard of the CLL dropping. Will the standard improve by simply entering more teams into our league? Possibly, possibly not. But the majority of players will still leave if they get offered money elsewhere.

    I tend to agree with Fayre (Jesus – there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say!) that creating an open league is not the best idea. I remember Deardo having a very heated debate with Jimmy Horrox at the Norden bar about ten years ago. I think Deardo ended the conversation with ‘an open league just leads to charlatans like you moving clubs every week for an extra £10”. I do think that something should be done though to stop clubs loosing their talented younger players.

    Whilst I was Chairman at Norden, three of our better players left. One to a better standard, two definitely not so. All three went with money being the most important factor. NCC could have afforded to match the payments being made, but did not do so, as it was against league rules, and the old age argument of the morality of it; “If he’s getting paid I want paying” etc….
    Purse is quite correct though – it is a good idea to wish them well, and leave the door open and make them feel welcome. They are much more likely to return this way.

    Good progressive clubs like Heywood, Rochdale Norden etc… spend a lot of money developing young players. From equipment, artificial nets, bowling machines, Level 2 coaching courses etc… Literally thousands and thousands of pounds. So should it be acceptable for someone else to come along and take that player just as the club are starting to benefit from all this investment? No.

    I would like to see a rule introduced whereby if a player has played five consecutive seasons at a club, between the ages of U11-U18, then that club would be allowed to pay this player. So – it is a half way house to an open league.
    I understand that some clubs will say they cannot afford to pay players, but you would have the option to either get a less expensive overseas pro or save money by getting an English pro. I think this would enable clubs to keep hold of THEIR talent, whilst not encouraging so called charlatans to hawk themselves around our league.

  15. Good points Greg.
    I still think it is all money that goes out of the game and could be invested in other ways.
    A big thing now is that it is very easy these days for clubs who do offer incentives to find out about prospective signings. Where 10 years ago no one from Liverpool, say, would know too much about players from other leagues, now they know everything with a few clicks of a mouse.
    Talking about Bob Dearden, and I hope he forgives me, he was talking before Christmas at Crimble about a famous ex CLL player who was given a budget by his current club to go out and ‘buy’ a team. Even with the amount of money reportedly available, some players were still out of reach.
    I wouldn’t want to watch a team of imports play for HCC.

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