Over the years the Club has been fortunate in having a number of experienced players who have been prepared to play in the lower grades and be a guide and mentor to the younger players.
Don Nichols was one such Club-man. He had a long association with the Club extending over more than 20 years. Most of that time, apart from a couple of short breaks, was spent playing in third and fourth grades.
Don himself was quite a handy all-rounder and had the distinction of playing in the Club’s two winning third grade teams in 1964-65 and 1975-76. In 1964-65 he took 4-1 in an over against Combined City and a hat-trick in 1981-82.
However, Don’s greatest value was in the way in which he encouraged and looked after the younger players in the team and gave them a grounding that prepared them for the higher grades.
In 1965-66 when he captained the third grade team, the following Secretary’s note was added to his team report: “Mention must be made of the way Don handled the team and his work with the young boys of the team.
His own performances were of a very high standard – he scored 304 runs at an average of 21.7 and was equal with Bernie McNally with the aggregate number of wickets – 31.”
Don had the knack of being able to find a player if the team was short and regularly looked after transport arrangements for the younger players.
He was a very active Club-man and served at various stages on the committee, as a Selector, Public Relations Officer and as President (1976-77). He was also on the Association’s Board of Control from 1983-86 and was involved in the organisation of the Ten Over Competition and the Association’s Coaching Clinics.
Ray Whiteley, the fourth grade captain in 1983-84, summed up Den’s value as a team and Club-man when he wrote: “A special thank you to Don Nichols, affectionately known as ‘Mr.Nichols’ to the team. Don as always was untiring in his efforts with the side. He looked after the kit collected game fees and tossed the coin … Personally, Don did well with both bat and ball. He was heard to say such things as ‘That’s the best I’ve bowled for a while’ or ‘I was going to hit it … but … etc’ … Don really enjoys the game and was an inspiration to all in the side.”