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Ullenwood Bharat club secretary Tony Webb looking forward to Brockworth move

Gloucester > Sport > Cricket

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Monday, 8th October 2018, 12:50

Ullenwood Bharat hope to be playing at their new ground in Brockworth next season Ullenwood Bharat hope to be playing at their new ground in Brockworth next season

Ullenwood Bharat Cricket Club are hoping their proposed move to Brockworth will help propel them to the next level.

Not that they are doing too badly at the moment because their flagship team play in Division Two of the County League while they have two other teams playing in the Cheltenham/Gloucester/Forest of Dean League.

The plan is for the 1st XI to play at the club’s new ground in Brockworth next season – they have been playing at King George V playing fields in Hucclecote in recent times – while the 2nd and 3rd XIs will continue to play at their home ground in Birdlip, just a big six-hit from the Air Balloon roundabout.

It is that roundabout – and the always congested roads that feed into it – that have given Ullenwood Bharat the chance to establish a base in Brockworth.

“Because of the proposed bypass that is going to be built we have been granted a Section 106 ground in Brockworth,” said club secretary Tony Webb.

“It’s just off Green Street and is next door to the bowls club. We’re hoping we can move in next season but if not we’ll be there in 2020.”

The 1st XI have been playing their home games at King George V because the outfield at the club’s home ground is not deemed good enough for the level of cricket they are playing.

“It will just be the 1st XI that play at Brockworth in the first season,” added Tony. “We don’t want to damage the newly laid square, we don’t want too much cricket on it until we know how it is playing.”

But in the medium term, Webb sees the opportunity to have two teams playing in Brockworth and two playing at Birdlip.

“We’d want to run four teams,” continued Tony, who believes the club will still be able to play at their current ground, which these days is owned by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, even when work on the bypass begins.

“Moving to Brockworth could be our saviour. We haven’t got a youth programme but once we’re in Brockworth that will give us a really good chance to start a youth section.

“There’s a really good catchment area, particularly through the school. Our 4th XI could be made up of youth players with a few older players and I would envisage them playing their home games in Brockworth.”

That new ground is right by the old ICI ground and will include a pavilion that will contain three separate showers for each changing room and a bar.

It’s easy to see why Tony is so excited about the future, especially as the club have known some tough times over the past dozen or so years.

“Our pavilion got burned down by vandals in 2005/06 and after that we struggled for players,” said Tony, who has been at the club for 25-plus years. “We’ve also had quite a lot of equipment stolen over the years.”

Ullenwood joined forces with Bharat Sports at the end of the 2012 season – Ullenwood needed players and Bharat needed somewhere to play after previously playing on the old ICI ground and the old Whitbread ground – and the club have certainly enjoyed some onfield success since then.

Tony hopes that the move to Brockworth – “It’s going to happen and whether it’s in 2019 or 2020 depends on the developer,” he said – will bring further success.

“We’re moving to an area where there aren’t too many clubs,” he added. “You’ve got Witcombe and Shurdington down the road but there’s not much else so that should help us attract new players.”

Tony himself is hoping to play a part in any success that comes the club’s way.

Cricket has been a huge part of his life. Now living in Littledean in the Forest, he originally played for Upton St Leonards before moving to Haresfield and then Ullenwood.

“I played up until two seasons ago, then my cartilage went,” said Tony, “but I want to play again.”

Tony was – or is – a medium paced swing bowler and he added: “They used to call me ‘Mr Mean’ because I didn’t go for too many runs!”

And he was obviously pretty good because he played two seasons for Gloucestershire Over-60s before captaining the county’s over-60s 2nd XI for their first two seasons.

Anyone who would like to play for Ullenwood Bharat, who are always looking for new players, can ring Tony on 07825 506862.

Other Images

Ullenwood Bharat’s new ground in Brockworth is just off Green Street and is next door to the bowls club
Ullenwood Bharat club secretary Tony Webb hopes moving to Brockworth can help propel the club to the next level

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