Next week is Country Week.
We probably need not say anymore, because as you’re likely aware, this is the big one – the second most major function for the season, behind only the windup!
Still, if you are new to the Club and wondering what on earth that means, or just want to refresh your memory, then please read on below!
Fixtures are also attached at the end of this post.
No, it is not a week where we honour a different nation every day (although we’re still holding out hope for a curry night in the near future!), it is actually when teams come from all around the state to play off for the ultimate glory, and the entertainment that goes with it!
The tournament runs from Sunday January 15th to Friday the 20th, and will see teams competing from a range of different locations at the home of cricket, John Connell Reserve.
For the seventh year running, the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club has been fortunate enough to host matches, and it goes without saying that we love the opportunity!
It is fantastic to have guys from all around the state at our great Club, and year on year, it never disappoints!
Our Club Members are highly encouraged to come down and watch the matches, all of which begin at 10:00am.
The Spartan bar and kitchen will be open from 9:00am until late everyday, meaning you’ll never go hungry or thirsty!
A variety of drinks are available, including alcoholic beverages, cool drinks, coffee, and tea.
It is a fantastic way to support the Club, as well as the country boys playing off in hugely entertaining fifty-over cricket.
Sunday, January 15th – Friday, January 20th
Country Week 2016 at John Connell Reserve last January.
About Country Week:
As the name indicates, this is a week long tournament that encompasses sides from all over the state, to play off in typically the third or fourth week of January each year in the Perth Metropolitan area, allowing players from remote or regional communities to participate and play in the ‘big smoke’.
The teams are divided into divisions, typically with multiple sides representing each town, and sees a large number of people heading into the city for the week long festivities.
Heavily promoted by the Western Australian Cricket Association, the final of the top division is usually played on the turf of the WACA Ground.
Beyond the boundary, the event is a fun social week, allowing guys, partners, players, supporters, and more time off to participate in the program.
As such, it is our privilege to know that sides are playing at our home ground, and it is therefore paramount that we show them why the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club is the best place to play.
We therefore put a lot of effort into ensuring the week is a huge success for all visiting teams, because the feedback alone is worth its weight in gold, and it is fantastic to know that the guys have had a great time at the Club as we do week in week out.
History Of Country Week:
Country Cricket has had a strong affiliation with the WACA for over 100 years. The first formal link was established in 1907 with the introduction of the now annual Senior Country Week competition. Country Week is one of WA’s great sporting icons, and in 2007 the Centenary of Country Week was celebrated.
Over the years the growth of cricket competitions and development programs has been substantial. Junior Country Week commenced in 1949, the Country Cup was introduced in 1980 and the Girls Country Cricket Carnival was an initiative from the Centenary of Country Week celebrations.
In the 1980s the Regional Junior Cricket Program evolved. Regional Boards and Regional Cricket Officers have the responsibility of increasing participation in junior cricket and ensuring that the high performance program gives talented young players every opportunity to be future State and Australian players.
The Country XI annually competes in the Australian Country Cricket Championships (to be played in Mount Gambier from 3-11 January 2016) and the Country Colts team participates in the WACA’s One Day League competition. Recently, a Masters program has been introduced.
Country Week At Leeming Spartan:
Since we first started hosting matches for Country Week in 2007, the popularity of the competition has soared, and the desire to be involved with the event means that it is more important than ever to ensure that all who step foot in the Club are hugely impressed.
The Club prides itself on hosting the event in a manner that is second to none. Whilst most clubs are able to nominate to host, few are able to do so as well as the Spartans.
As such the feedback from sides playing at Leeming Spartan has been nothing short of outstanding.
Still, we are by no means resting on our laurels, and after a record breaking 2016 Country Week, we are aiming to push the boundaries (pun not intended) even further.
2016 was a hugely successful week for the Club, and the reputation we have built from that year alone has us in fantastic stead for Country Weeks in the future. Couple that with the previous six years of fantastic results, it is easy to see why we are keen to continue.
Proving the high standard that the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club prides itself on during Country Week, the boys from the Warren Blackwood Cricket Association will be returning for the Thursday night fun for the seventh year running.
After a bumper 2016, we’re raising the bar once again for this year’s Thursday – the pinnacle night on the Country Week calendar.
Be sure to read on below or click here for more information about Country Week Thursday.
The Warren Blackwood Cricket Association and the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club have formed a fantastic relationship over the years thanks to the efforts of former President John Ipsen, who initiated the first event.
Since then, the bond between the clubs has excelled, and once again they are making their way to the Spartan clubhouse after their Thursday match – despite not playing on John Connell!
Interestingly, the Warren Blackwood Cricket Association encompasses clubs in the towns of Manjimup, Pemberton, Bridgetown, and Northcliffe to name but a few, and they join forces to play for the Association during the Country Week program.
A special thank you to the Warren Blackwood boys for coming back year on year, and we will endeavour to ensure that this year’s Country Week Thursday is your best one yet!
Warren Blackwood and the ACA Legends (including Simon Katich and Brad Hogg) played in a charity match in Manjimup late last year.
Country Week matches begin at 10:00am sharp, although the pre-match entertainment opens its doors at 9:00am.
Food and drinks will be available for purchase from 9:00am.
The matches itself are limited over encounters, lasting fifty overs per innings, and are expected to conclude at 5:30pm.
Lunches are taken at 12:00pm in addition to an afternoon tea break at 3:30pm.
Sides can elect to play the full 100 overs, for example when a team is bowled out prior to the completion of their overs, or when a score is passed.
The follow on rule also applies when a side with a lead of at least 75 runs has the option of requiring the other side to bat again. This allows for extra points.
Our first game takes place this Sunday at 10:00am, and sees Collie and Esperance facing off.
This should be a fascinating encounter between two clubs who return to John Connell, having previously played at our home ground in recent competitions.
As is the plan with every game day, we’ll have breakfast available to go when the doors first open, and will follow that up with a number of initiatives and entertainment throughout the day.
Spartan Club Members:
For all those attending Country Week, be it players, family, friends, supporters or more, the infamous Leeming Spartan bar and kitchen will be open all day everyday, from 9:00am until late.
We’ll be offering breakfast cures, lunches, drinks of all varieties, and beyond to quench any need.
Of course, our Club members are encouraged to join in as well, and are welcome to stick around all day and night!
Country Week’s Thursday night is the highlight of the tournament for those playing and hosting, as well as the regular members of the host club.
As always, this is a massive event that begins at 10:00am with Wyalkatchem and Northam squaring off, before the festivities begin.
We’ll still be having our own regular week training, although obviously the centre wicket will be off limits.
Highlighted by the attendance of the playing sides and the Warren Blackwood boys, it is a fantastic evening that includes a mini-Olympics on the surface of John Connell, a pig on a spit, fines, thank-yous & welcomes, and later presentations from a guest speaker.
Definitely do not miss out on Country Week Thursday!
So, be sure to get down to the Club throughout the week, with four games played and a massive number of functions and events that are sure to be among the highlights of the season!
Get down to the Club anytime from 9:00am and help make the 2017 Country Week the best yet!
Country Week 2017 Fixtures:
We’ll also be updating our Events Page with all the latest info about the games. Check it out here!
Bring On Country Week 2017!
Completion of a game in Country Week 2016, as our Spartans train in the background.