2016 has been a good year for Cumbria junior golf. The U18 team won the Northern Federation League with a match to spare and once again won a very close Northern Federation 36-Holes Strokeplay Championship by one shot at Penrith Golf Club, being their fourth triumph in this prestigious fixture in the last six years. It would be difficult to pick out any individual player as the success of this incredible group of young lads is based on a fantastic team spirit and a never-say-die attitude. Every single player has contributed to the season's results which finished with our U18 team unbeaten for the first time in several years.
We have said thank you and farewell to 2016 Captain, Will Postlethwaite, Vice-Captain Alex Rose and to Will Barnes, all three of whom have made oustanding contributions to the successes of the team for the last three years and we wish them all every success in their future careers. They will be sadly missed but, as alway,s there is a conveyor belt of young golfers coming through and eager to join the team.
Thanks to everyone who supported the squad during 2016. We have had terrific support from an amazing group of parents and from county executives. Special thanks and gratitude to Tom and Kate Stout, who rarely miss a match, and to Jean and John Sheffield for their help, advice and invaluable friendship.
Happily, the Cumbria U18 team will have six of the 2010 team available plus a number of talented U16s who are rapidly maturing into fine players and will make their mark during the season. A ground-breaking initiative, backed by England Golf, is in place for 2017 to provide each elite player in the U18 and U16 squads with a year of one-to-one coaching which, if the players work hard, should give them all the chance to realise their potential.
The first target for 2017 is to try to repeat the success of 2010 and win the Northern Counties Championship which is to be held at Warrington Golf Club on July 5th. At the very least a top three finish would represent a remarkable achievement.
The second target is to win the Nothern Federation 36-Holes Strokeplay Championship at Arcot Hall Golf Club. The team have almost made this their own with five wins in the last seven years, including 2016's one shot victory at Penrith.
The third target is to win the Northern Federation League again. 2016 saw Cumbria win the title for the first time in six years and the team are capable of repeating that feat in 2017.
And finally, and most importantly, the main target - to enjoy this great game of golf, the camaraderie of playing in a great team, the honour of representing your county, and the immense satisfaction that success brings. A Happy and Successful 2017 to all our players, their parents and supporters - let's do it!!!