Chris Partridge - standing down as SDYL chairman

WANTED! Executive officers to run the Wollen Michelmore South Devon Youth League.

Chairman Chris Partridge is standing down after five years in the job and wants to line-up a successor before the competition’s annual meeting in January.

Also signing off is treasurer Paul Harding, who has been in the job since 2014 when he replaced Peter Wright.

In a competition with a minimalist committee structure to start with, the only other officers are a fixture secretary, results secretary and welfare secretary, it can’t operate effectively two short.

Partridge, who can’t fit in work, family and his own cricket commitments at Ipplepen with chairing the league, said new faces Paul Hardingare needed urgently.

“There could be 10 divisions next season and a cup competition as well and that requires people to administer it,” said Partridge.

“Everyone on the committee has a job to do and gets on with their little bit. Add them all together and the league runs smoothly.

“Take two cogs out of the mechanism and it won’t run as well.

“Financially the league is sound and supported by a fantastic sponsor in Wollen Michelmore Solicitors.

“The structure is in place for next year: all that’s needed are people to take on some of the work.

“Although I will be standing down at the annual meeting in January, I will still be around to ensure a smooth handover to whoever takes over.”

One of Partridge’s last acts as chairman has been to look at the structure of the league and make some necessary changes.

For the first time Development League will run alongside the main age groups from 10-15.

“The development league will be all about participation, keeping players involved as they get better acquainted with cricket,” said Partridge.

“It would be great if we had every division made up of teams of roughly equal ability, but it doesn’t work like that.

“At one end of the scale there are the teams with four or five District players and a couple of county players in them. At the other are the teams with five or six regulars, a few new players and some youngsters from a lower age-group team.

“With the best will in the world that is going to be a mismatch, no matter how hard the coaches try to make it otherwise and I know they do.

“Clubs will have the choice of either entering the main age-group divisions, or joining one of the participation divisions at under-11, 13 and 15 level where there won’t be the same pressures on them.”

The annual meeting of the Wollen Michelmore South Devon Youth League will take place at Buckland Athletic FC on Tuesday, January 16. As well as a chairman and treasurer, a Kwik Cricket organiser is needed.

Before the annual meeting is the league awards evening at the Grand Hotel in Torquay on December 7.