Training and cricket meant busy summer
MARK: Welcome to the first Benchmark of the new season. It only seems five minutes ago we were finishing last season and already Leckhampton Cheetahs are back in action, this time at Under-13 level in the Cheltenham League.
It's been a busy summer of change for the Cheetahs. A couple of players have left, a couple have joined and we have new sponsors Bumblebeez florists.
I was keen to get a local company involved in sponsoring the Cheetahs, and Bumblebeez fits the bill perfectly. It's a real family business run by Mark and Beckie Morris – their eldest son Toby coaches with the team while his younger brother Jay is one of our players. And youngest son Alfie, just two, is a regular supporter at our matches!
The boys looked very smart in their new kit for our first match and they produced a quality display to get us off to a winning start.
Gents, come in to Earl's & Co and enjoy a haircut and finish, glass of whisky and a shoeshine for £18.50
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Ben was a virtual spectator, but he will no doubt be far busier in some of the tougher tests ahead.
He spent the sunny summer playing cricket, while I spent it organising the team for the coming season! No rest for the wicked.
In fact, there has been virtually no break between the end of last season and the start of this as we carried on training long after our league matches had finished. The boys were keen to carry on, and I was keen to keep them close to stop them signing for anybody else!
But it did mean that when we finished training at the end of July there was only just enough time for me to sort out player registrations, organise the kit sponsor and order the new kit before the fixtures were published. Then it was straight into pre-season training.
Lesson learned. This season we will finish training much earlier and have a proper break before starting pre-season training.
BEN: I have been looking forward to the new season as we have a few new players and I am excited to see what they're like.
Also, I haven't played football in a while and am pretty hopeful about this upcoming season.
I would like to think we could finish in the top half of the league and have more clean sheets than our previous season. Also, I would like us to score more. I am also glad we have a few new teams in our league which will make it more interesting.
During the summer I play cricket for Hatherley and Reddings. I am a wicketkeeper, which helps my football as it improves my catching and diving as well as my hand-eye co-ordination.
Because I play both sports I have noticed some differences between them. At cricket, the parents and coaches don't shout as much at us and are always supportive and congratulating us.
Also, the boys are more positive and encouraging. But even at my age group you do get sledging, which can put the batsmen off.
Also, cricket is a much longer game and you can sometimes lose focus. When we play a 40-over match we have tea between each innings which regroups us and fuels us.
But when we bat I can wait for quite a long while before getting in so entertain myself by practising and catching to keep my eye in.