Exciting times for cricket in Dundalk
Though organised cricket in Dundalk can be traced back to the mid 19th century, this year marks a new era.
In an historic move a Dundalk cricket team been invited to use the Hiney Park field owned by Dundalk Grammar School near Oriel Park.
Dundalk Cricket Club hope that having a location in the heart of town will help with the recruitment of new players.
The club are on the lookout for players - of all abilities - to join the playing squad. Some experienced and talented players are already signed up for the new season, so newcomers will learn quickly and with only one team and a small playing pool, anyone keen to play will always get plenty of games.
Training has been taking place at DKIT, alongside the students, on Wednesday evenings (6-9pm) and Saturday mornings (11-1) while the new ground is being developed.
The club has all the gear so newcomers do not need to even think of buying expensive bats. Enthusiasm and a pair of white trousers is all you need. The club is looking for anyone who fancies a go, or knows someone who might, to get in contact.
Works to make the new ground ready are ongoing and while it is a race against time with the season starting at the end of the month,
Dundalk's first two games are away from home, with the opener against DLR County in Dublin, which eases the burden on the volunteers doing the work.
The target date is May 26, when there will be a one-day festival of 20:20 cricket - the most exciting and popular version of the game.
Dundalk will host three games in the Whelan Cup - playing in two of them against Balbriggan and The Hills - and the club would love to see any curious players or spectators at the grounds throughout the day - there will be someone on hand to explain the rules.
Anyone interested in joining the club immediately can find out more about membership and training sessions by emailing club secretary Brent Higginbotham - whose email is firstname.lastname@example.org - and by finding the club on their Facebook page for updates. Lifts to the ground and away matches are easily arranged for those without transport.
The club are also keen to begin preparing for the future by introducing youth training once the ground is fully operational and
tapping into schools like the Grammar and St Vincent's, who already run cricket programmes.
The priority is making the new ground fit for cricket but the club is currently developing two underage programmes, a Youths section and a Little Smashers club for five to eight years old. This will be a fun introduction to the sport and will provide some basic skills that will be easily transferable.
Watch this space for more details on cricket in Dundalk.