History

First TeamThe Illawong Cricket Club was started during 1977 with Don Trounce as the first President. It was borne out of the Illawong Sports and Recreation Club which was based at Illawong Public School. The Club's first team was an U10's side who had been coached for a season by Bob Richardson and Barry Whitlock without playing, in readiness for the Club's debut season in 77/78. They went on to win an U12s premiership in 79/80

Our teams trained on the oval behind Illawong Public School which at the time was about 2/3's its current size and was shared with softball. While Menai was being developed the earth from digging the sewers was being trucked across the Georges River, via the punt, to be dumped. Barry Whitlock was on the Punt with one of the trucks and asked where the earth was being taken. He asked if it could be dropped at Illawong and was advised that it would be up to the Water Board. The Water Board agreed to dump the dirt on the site and created the Austin Street Park to its current size and shape. When this was completed the council built the pitch and turfed the oval. The nets were built in the years following and these were the first in the area.

The Club steadily grew as the area progressed with the building of the Alfords Point Bridge. In the 84/85 season a young Jason Gillespie was the Club's Junior Cricketer of the Year and in the same year Harry Solomons was our Senior Cricketer of the Year. Australian cricketer Doug Walters was enticed by Harry to come and play a game for the Illawong 1st grade side, in which he scored an impressive and valuable 144 not out. What a year!

At the Clubs 10th birthday Harry Solomons was President and we had 13 Teams (9 junior and 4 senior). Harry had a fantastic committee. The 86/87 committee organised a Max Walker- Doug Walters night with 650 people attending. In this same year, our club was proud to have its first Australian representative- Darrell Mann. Darrell had been selected to play in the Australian U17 team.

Our 89/90 committee introduced the first newsletter and this ensured that all boys and parents were kept up to date with Club news.

In the early 90s our club numbers started to grow considerably. We consistently fielded 20 plus junior teams in the Sutherland competition. Our senior teams had played in the Georges River- Penshurst competition and in the 91/92 season commenced play back in the Sutherland competition. It was decided that this was an opportunity to unify the club and would provide a platform for our junior cricketers to progress through to the senior ranks.

In the 94/95 season we had our first girl register to play cricket.

Our first Have A Go centre for kids 5 – 8 years old was run in 95/96 by Trevor Allen and Kevin Everson. This was done in conjunction with Aquinas Cricket Club. Vin Sharkey took the reins in 96/97 and the continuing efforts of Kerry Myers then ensured the steady flow of young players into our junior sides, resulting in our club fielding a record 26 junior teams in the 97/98 season. In the same season our club introduced a new club cap, which enabled Illawong teams to be easily identified on the field and helped build club spirit and identity.

With so many teams to manage and our club valuing our players- the 'Fair Go' policy was officially implemented by Trevor Allen and his visionary committee. The club would request that coaches ensure all players get an equal opportunity to bowl and to rotate the batting order. Whilst aware that the policy may cost games the aim was to retain players and to increase participation numbers. This policy is still encouraged with all our teams today and we are very proud to continue this tradition.

In 02/03 the Illawong Cricket Club officially incorporated Menai to the name and at about the same time reintroduced the Kookaburra to the Club logo.

The 03/04 season was successful and this resulted in our first ever experience of being 'Club Champions'. In December of 2003 we hosted a junior Welsh touring side at Casuarina Oval.

In 04/05 we updated our cap to include the Kookaburra and Rod Aggett took a proposal for introducing colour in our playing shirts to the Sutherland Junior Cricket Assn. (SSJCA). This was approved and we were the first club to have our dark blue colour added to the mainly white playing shirts, making us the envy of other clubs and players. It took another 3 seasons to have the Men's Association come on board. We now have a unified club uniform and are proud to have been a driving force in the change of regulations.

Our ongoing efforts with the Have A Go centre were well rewarded in the 06/07 season with our 40 or so participants very excited to receive a visit from Michael Clarke and Lisa Sthalekar in December 2006.

The celebrity visits continued in November 2007 with Dennis Lillee running a coaching clinic for some of our lucky cricketers at Casuarina Oval.

Now having completed over 30 years, the Club has won over 56 Junior premierships and over 14 Senior premierships. In our current season we have both Junior teams and Senior teams taking the field each Saturday.

Illawong Menai Cricket Club has been very pleased to have had a large number of players achieving representative level for Sutherland and many of these have gone on to play grade cricket.

Whilst Jason Gillespie may have only played one season for our club, before moving to South Australia, it is great to have him as part of our history and his achievements are outstanding. Jason's book 'Dizzy' is a good read and great to see Illawong Cricket Club gets a mention in the early part of his life.

Our 30th Anniversary Dinner was a great night at long time club sponsor Club Menai. Cricket Legend Rodney Hogg was our guest speaker for the evening. Rodney regaled us with his experiences of playing cricket for Australia. A fantastic night with many Life Members gathering with the new to talk about cricket.

The 09/10 season was a highlight with twice IMCC 'Junior Player of the Year'- Steven Smith. Steven played 11 seasons for the club from U8's to 16A's. During this season Steven was a regular member of the NSW Speed Blitz Blues team and played his debut game for Australia in both T20 and One Day Internationals.

2010 also saw 15yo Lauren Miletich selected in the NSW U18's Breakers squad, Lauren played 7 season with IMCC and is a very talented cricketer.

IMCC will continue as a club that gives everyone a go.

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