What a difference a year makes

November 24, 2011

Matt SpriegelEnd of season dinners often tell the tale of how successful a season has been. In October 2010, Surrey’s end of season dinner ended up being a cheese and wine evening for a handful of members and the squad. This was on the back of another poor year for the club, languishing in mid table in all competitions, albeit with shoots of recovery. Fast forward twelve months, on the back of promotion and a CB40 title, and the England Suite in the OCS stand is filled with over 450 members, sponsors, staff and players.

The cynics amongst you at this point would declare of these people are merely glory hunters and ‘jumping on the coat-tails of others success’. But, the fact is that nobody likes to associate themselves with a losing team, whether sponsors or supporters. More importantly, the turnout shows just how much support there is for a successful Surrey side, and how many people are desperate for it to do well.

I played in the infamous T20 game against Gloucestershire where we deservedly got booed off after a 10 wicket drubbing. I was also lucky enough to play in the side who won the CB40 Final against Somerset at Lords, the showpiece event of the county season. The feelings after these games were chalk and cheese, and not just because of the monumental hangover I had after the Final. The lap of the ground after the game, singing the team song on the outfield was fantastic. I was in the ground with my dad watching Surrey when they won their last trophy at Lords and to be out there hitting the winning runs truly was unbelievable. As I mentioned about 25 times in an interview immediately after the game!

Surrey, in my mind, are and always will be the biggest county in the country. Whilst traveling back home down the M1, back through the busiest city in the world, in another traffic jam, you can forget this. When you are so wrapped up in your own bubble of playing cricket you forget the impact the team’s performance has on other peoples lives. Whether it be a member who can’t face speaking to his Middlesex counterpart or the guys in our offices trying to sell tickets for our next T20 game which just so happens to fall on the same date as an England Football International!

This year, our end of season awards was a celebration of the season gone. To have so many people there to celebrate with was very special. Pat Pocock grabbed the mic, armed with an Ipod of backing music at the end of the formalities, and belted out a few of Sinatra’s classics. It was a fitting if not bizarre way to end the night!

Yes, we’ve celebrated well, but Surrey fans need not worry as the guys have been back in training for nearly a month now and have no intention of last year being a one off. We have a lot to learn, but this Surrey side is going places.

Matthew Spriegel

2 Comments to “What a difference a year makes”

  1. Eddie
    November 24th, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

    So he can hit the winning runs at Lords and write blogs… a real talent!

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  2. Diego
    November 24th, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

    I bet this it was a huge party after the win at Lords. Did anyone sleep with the trophy like Gerrard after Istanbul?

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