Around The Boundary - Will Newell - Llechryd through and through

‘Around the Boundary’ Feature:

Will Newell supporting Paul Webb when Paul was chairman of Pembroke CCCIf you wanted clear proof of the way that people who are not talented sports men or women but can still make a significant contribution to a club off the playing fields then one can certainly find a great example at Llechryd Cricket Club.
Over the years, whether I played, umpired or visited there, I gradually got to know Will Newell well and recognised the range of things that he does there as groundsman, unpaid barman and lots of other jobs that people generally do not want to get saddled with.
Will is also the club’s unofficial press officer, who is always at the other end of the phone on Saturday evenings when I phone him up to find out the result and best performances at home games.

Works very hard as the County Club Grounds’ Adviser

He also spends many hours each week aboard the tractor as he maintains the playing surface to a high level (but more of that later) - and is also the Grounds Advisor and Machinery organiser for the Pembroke County Cricket Club.
“Before I started in that role I had gained lots of experience tending not only our own pitch but also the one at Crymych School, which is shared by our third team and Crymych Seconds on alternate Saturdays,” Will told us.
Brian James had done a great job as ground advisor but sadly passed away and then Glyn Cole took on the role as Euros Jones looked after the machinery that the County Club /Pembrokeshire Groundsman Association owns and allows teams from across Pembrokeshire to use at the beginning and ends of each season.
“But then Euros moved away and Glyn returned to umpiring and I was roped in to take charge of both aspects of the groundsmanship role - and I’ve got more and more involved every year since then.

Always ready to help and give good advice

“As a member of the Executive Committee of Pembroke County Cricket Club I attend the monthly meetings and as many of the county finals as I possibly can - but I strongly believe that my main role is to encourage every club to maintain and improve their grounds, especially the playing strips, and that is why I am so busy in September/October and then in early spring.
“I do a bulk order for all the loam, fertiliser and seed for the teams because it helps reduce their costs - and then I spend time with Frenni Transport in organising a delivery to each club.
At the end of the season I visit clubs who want help because they don’t have their own machinery and if each club can supply some volunteers I can manage to get around to two clubs a day where I use the scarifier, and others man the spiker and seed hopper to aid the vital top dressing.
“Previously clubs could hire out the equipment for three days at a time but if it rained heavily then the time was wasted and paying the cost was worthless to the club - hence my system where I give help and costs are kept to an absolute minimum, and all the clubs are very supportive.
“Then before the next season I make a return visit to every club in the county with their ground staff to see if all the work has been completed well in preparation for a new campaign - and if I’m happy with it then I’m delighted - if not I suggest how improvements can be made and make a repeat visit with the emphasis on making sure every pitch is playable because safety alongside players having the chance to play in good conditions are what I’m looking for.”

Will scoring alongside Adge John in an Alan Brown Cup Final, with the late Rob Benjamin behind

Family matters . . . and taking up the reins at Llechryd

With so much work involved it is vital that Will has support from his family and he would be the first to praise his wife Mair for the fact that she is always there for him, as is his daughter Nicola, now married with children.
“Our son Mark used to play cricket for Llechryd as an all-rounder before work commitments and he is the reason I started to get involved in the game after I took him to practice and there was a bit of a problem with the tractor that I fixed because I had been involved in farm work for a long time and such things had become natural.
“Then I noticed that the driver’s eyes were streaming with hay fever and I asked him if he needed a hand;  he showed me where he wanted cutting and I went from there. What seemed like the next day I was asked if I had the time could I cut the outfield on a regular basis.
I agreed and I was given a set of keys to the shed; he arrived unannounced to ask if I fancied taking over the reins; the keys were thrust in my hands and I’ve been club groundsman ever since!”

Rugby and cricket are other sporting interests

Outside of his cricket Will used to be involved with rugby at nearby Cardigan but when a football team was started up in Llechryd two seasons ago he was roped in to get involved with a team that included a number of cricketers from the village - and Will was soon enrolled as secretary and safeguarding officer there too.
“John Curran became player/coach and in our first season we won division two in the Ceredigion League and gained promotion to do well then in the first season as well as reaching the final of Pembrokeshire’s Eddie Merry Cup at Fishguard Sports and only just missing out in an entertaining tussle against Goodwick United.
“Our second team also won division three in the Ceredigion League this season and is due to start their next journey in the second division pretty soon now.
“We’ve also started up junior teams at under six and under 8 - and they will become our new under tens so that we will have three junior sections and also have a girls’ squad in our ‘Huddle Section’ that will take part in the ‘Weetabix In Sport’ campaign that is aimed at getting young girls more involved in sport,” - and of course Will is the ‘Huddle co-ordinator  alongside Katrina Morgan, who has the lead role .

And finally . . .

Ask Will again about the cricket club and he says that they are holding their own in the second division of the Pembroke County Cricket Club and praises the work of club chairman Rob Mansfield alongside Ollie Roberts Chairman of Cricket, and John Curran (secretary).who not only plays a key role in the club’s playing fortunes but also looks after the playing strips whilst Will tends the outfield and surrounds and Steve Curran looks after the playing strips
One of the best things about Will Newell’s involvement in cricket is the fact that he totally plays down his involvement and is quick to say that it is the players who count because they deserve every help they can get and he plays just a small part.
But can safely say that without people like him getting involved our game in this county would have a lesser value and we will very much continue our chats with Will Newell around the boundary and enjoy meeting up with someone who does a great job and is an asset to his club and county!