Net gains for Bucks as new facilities prove a massive hit

Old Buckenham have a new addition to their club - a full length, two bay artificial net facility, which sits alongside their existing grass practice nets.

Old Buckenham have a new addition to their club - a full length, two bay artificial net facility, which sits alongside their existing grass practice nets.

Beginning the project in the spring of 2009, the club gained the new nets through funding from Breckland Council, the Lord's Taverners Programme, and from the ECB, via the Norfolk Cricket Board.

Project leader Andy Austin believes that the new nets will complement the existing facilities and revolutionise practice regimes. He said: "From all of the youth practice that Old Buckenham now run with around 100 youth members, right through to training for our four senior sides, the nets that we now have will make training incredibly easier to run, with coaching and practice throughout being of a much higher quality."

The NCB's cricket development manager, Kieron Tuck, has helped Old Buckenham through the planning process and he said: "The Norfolk Cricket Board was delighted to recommend Old Buckenham for ECB grant investment to develop this fantastic new net facility. The practice facilities at the club were not up to the level required for an NCB Focus Club with a strong commitment to youth and senior cricket, and as such the NCB were keen to ensure the club had the right facilities in place.

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"The club, and in particular Andy Austin, have been well organised and fully committed to the development and now have facilities that will be the envy of many Norfolk clubs, standing them in good stead for the future."

Stefan Clifford, from Breckland Council, helped secure the final funding for the project, enabling the nets to be completed ready for the 2010 season.

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Breckland Council's sustainable communities manager, Rob Walker, said: "The council was delighted to support this project which will benefit aspiring athletes in the district. We are always happy to receive applications from clubs such as Old Buckenham which is constituted, well organised, encourages junior players and has a good developmental structure."

Old Buckenham's first team are aiming to recover from a shaky start after losing their opening match back in the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division, following last year's promotion and tomorrow they travel to Acle.

n Oundle Town Cricket Club, from Peterborough, are looking for a fixture on Monday, July 26, to complete their Norfolk tour.

Any clubs interested should contact Michael Outar on 01733 772604 or email

n Norfolk's Over-60s play Suffolk at Dereham on Tuesday in the Spitfire National Championship, starting at 1.30pm.

n See tomorrow's EDP for a full list of the weekend's fixtures.

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