Fakenham making plans for the future

Cricket at Fakenham is moving into a new era, writes John Cushion.

Plans for additional changing rooms and other facilities were on show for the first time at the club’s annual meeting at the Highfield Lawn clubhouse on Friday night.

Chairman Martin Turner confirmed that work will begin in the spring to lay a new square on school land which has been leased adjacent to the current ground, following a grant approval.

“The square is, however, only the beginning,” he said. “Changing rooms and other facilties will need to be in place. That is the next stage in our club’s development. Plans have been drawn and grant money is being sourced to allow these facilities to go ahead. Not all the money will come from grants and the club will have to raise a vast amount of money to make it all happen. Everyone at the club will need to get involved.”

The club had just enjoyed its best season for a very long time, said Turner. “Six teams were competition winners, with other teams reaching semi-finals or coming close to promotion in their respective leagues. The club’s most obvious win was the dominance of the first XI in the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division, winning that by almost a 100-point margin.

“One of the most pleasing aspects of the last year for me has been the emergence of young players into our senior sides. This level of young emerging talent is not just luck, . It has taken the club many years to find the right balance to allow these youngsters to develop. Players now want to play at Fakenham and move through our teams and should be allowed to play at the highest level possible. That is why East Angian Premier League status has to be a priority for our first team.

“The next three years will see a group of young players come through that will be hungry for success at the highest level, and we as a club must make sure that they achieve that on the ground at Highfield Lawn.”

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The chairman added: “It used to be that our talented players would move to bigger clubs to develop – but Fakenham is now one of the bigger clubs. The introduction of a director of cricket to move things forward and to create teams where youngsters can develop was not an accident. It has been a thought-out plan.”