Like many primary school children in the UK Sam was introduced to cricket through curricular activities and he’s not looked back since. He and his class mates formed the first youth side at Bathford Cricket Club, which has grown into a hugely successful program for all involved. At the age of 12, he was the cannon fodder that filled the adult team, opposition taking pity on the child whose pads barely fit whilst offering encouragement that soon translated to consolation when the inevitable wicket fell. Sam’s love of cricket blossomed and upon reaching secondary school, he decided to join his new found friends at Stothert and Pitt Cricket Club. Stepping up to the fore, he cemented his place as a mainstay of the Stothert team; opening the batting, keeping wicket, even offering his bowling services on occasion and finally undertaking the first team captaincy. The firm friends Sam made at the club made a decision to move to Bear Flat in 2015 all to play a higher level of cricket, and Sam reluctantly followed.
His reluctance was short lived. What he hadn’t bargained on was was the new friendships that were to be made at BFCC, and the positive ethos of the club, which is renowned for its commitment to being competitive, but playing the sport in its true spirit, with great camaraderie both on and off the pitch.
“The generosity, kind natured and nurturing personalities at the club are of paramount importance”. Sam believes this to be demonstrated by both the playing teams and the management committee. “I made the right choice joining Bear Flat. The club has an ethos that I’ve never experienced or seen anywhere else and it’s something that I’d be honoured to be a part of and help build for many years to come. Not only are there hard-working individuals, committed to making the club better, but an abundance of people willing to do just their little bit to make everyone welcome, respected and valued”. This is particularly true of the Saturday captain, Mark Gunning, who leadership Sam has likened to Liverpool FC Manager Jurgen Klopp. In a recent interview Klopp stated his view on what makes a successful club, both on and off the pitch:
“To create a situation where everybody feels important, enjoys themselves, knows their jobs, feels respected and feels needed – that’s how life should be,” – Klopp
Sam is as modest as he is talented:
“I realise that my cricketing achievements, in the form of statistics, don’t add up to much. In all honesty this isn’t something I’d even noticed until the Bear Flat dinner. I think in my head I had always thought “I know my role in the team and in the big moments I can have a game changing affect”. It was due to his game changing abilities that Sam was awarded the “Champagne Moment” for 2017 at the BFCC Annual Dinner. This is awarded for a unique moment of sheer inspiration on the pitch.
This moment came in a key game against Malmesbury who were cruising to victory. It took a piece of individual brilliance from Sam to remove their danger man with an outstanding run out. Few people remember dull 50s or lucky 4 wickets hauls, people remember singular moments genius of which this was – when his team needed him, he stepped up.
Saturday Captain, Mark Gunning says of Sam: “There is no bigger critic of Sam Vesey, than Sam Vesey. This has sometimes lead him to question ‘why do I bother playing’? However, as Sam has become more comfortable with his role in the team, and understood what a vital role he has, the ‘statistics’, have become less of a cricketing albatross around his neck. I have no doubt the runs will come for Sam, as I know Sam has the desire and dedication to want to improve and get better – he certainly has the innate talent. The team knows that we are fortunate to have the best wicket keeper/batsman in the league, a keeper who makes match winning contributions not only with catches or stumpings, but equally as important, by encouraging his team mates to be relentless in their pursuit of excellence. We all love playing with a buoyant and positive Sam, and I personally look forward to helping him defend our Division 1 title in 2018.’
Sam is looking forward to the 2018 season and getting back behind the stumps: “I love keeping because you always have the ability to influence the game – by that I don’t just mean spectacular catches or stumpings. In my eyes cricket is all about momentum – stopping a wide from being five, stopping overthrows or even just your body language sets the precedent for the whole team and what’s to come. My vision for The Bears’ next big success is to secure the intermediary T20 cup and I hope it’s something I can play an integral part in achieving”.