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    TAKING CHARGE: New Horsham Cricket Association president Chris Hopper at Horsham City Oval.  Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Chris Hopper to lead Horsham cricket direction

Highly decorated former Victorian Premier League player Chris Hopper will lead Horsham Cricket Association for the 2020-21 season.

Mr Hopper, a long-time leading A Grade player for Homers club, took the reins at an online annual meeting last week.

Delegates also voted in Josh Mahoney as vice-president, Matt Grace treasurer, Josh Miller secretary and Brendan Wills board member.

All seats on the association management board had been vacant. 

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Members stood down amid controversy over a decision, in the absence of finals, to declare an overall competition draw at the end of the 2019-20 home-and-away season.

Mr Hopper said he accepted that cricket faced a challenging period as communities emerged from COVID-19 restrictions, but was confident the game also presented opportunities for people keen to resume outdoor sport. 

“I see taking on this role as an opportunity to help out and understand the cricketing landscape will be considerably different to the past,” he said.

“Everything is governed by the powers that be in Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria and some of the traditional things we have always had or employed as cricketers won’t be happening. 

“We just need to work together with the clubs and make the best of the situation.

“I’m sure there will be some cricket played this summer, but there will be a lot of changes. 

“If we can play at some stage there will be different motivations. Instead of the cold winter we will have days of 25 to 30 degrees and I suspect people are going to be itching to be active and get involved in outdoor sport.

“When we get our window to get out there we need to be as prepared as possible. 

“When the time comes there will be levels of excitement for people to get out and be involved – perhaps levels we might not have experienced for some time. I think circumstances will eventually be a great opportunity for families and kids to get back into the game.”

A job well done

Mr Hopper congratulated departing members of the association board for their long-time contribution to the game.

“They would have upwards of 100 years of experience in playing, volunteering and administration – that is always hard to replace. They are really good cricket people and I thank them for all they have done,” he said.

“Looking forward I suppose we have a completely fresh set of eyes and ideas and that’s going to present challenges, but we must look at it as a positive thing. The people involved are all passionate about cricket in the area and that will hold us in good stead.

“We have a bit of time up our sleeve to meet further and put some processes in place to set us up as best we can. 

“I’ve already spoken to other boards and presidents who have made all sorts of positive changes and we will put some thought into all of that.

“The one thing that Horsham has done really well in the past few years is put work into juniors and that has to continue and be expanded.”

Wednesday night’s meeting started with an 18-6 vote of support for the outgoing association board’s decision to not award premierships last season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The entire September 16, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!