Andy Clement Factfile
David Holmes (News Letter)
Andy Clement Fact file Q&A
Interesting facts: First played for Muckamore IIIís aged 11 at Mallusk and yes it was cold! Born in England family came across to NI when he was a toddler. Vice Chairman of NCU and Director of Development
Q. How did you get started in the game:
It was not that I had a cricket background both my parents played tennis and being from Antrim that was at Muckamore, so I was brought up around tennis and cricket; I was always around the club
Q. What about at school:
When I was at Antrim Grammar School we had two real enthusiasts there in Alfie Conn and Roy Thompson, so I was not short of encouragement
Q. Early idols globally and locally:
As my family were from around Worcester, I sent time across there in the summer and remember watching Basil DíOliveira, but for me the real class act was Graeme Hick. As a left arm bowler I remember watching John Lever one day and thinking his run up starts further than our boundary at Muckamore. I had no local idols as such.
Q. Who had most influence on early career:
Hard to go past John McCormick, but I was fortunate to be in what I would call the Muckamore family guys like Benny Craig, Ivan McCombe and Andy Gleghorne, you knew you couldnít step out of line or you would be brought back pretty sharpish. I consider myself fortunate to have had three great wicket keepers at the club, John, Nile Smith and now Brian Dunlop.
Q. You left and went to Cliftonville what was the thinking:
I always was and still am a Muckamore man, I never really wanted to leave but we were in Section Two and I wanted to test myself at the higher level. I won two league titles; we had a great team then guys like Kamal, Kyle McCallan and Alan Neill. I did not play senior cricket until I was 30 and it was great to win the bowler of the year in my first season.
Q. What are your highlights:
Obviously I cannot look past the two titles with Cliftonville, but there were good times with Muckamore as well helping them to get promoted Q. Who are the best you have played against and with: Would be hard to sum that one up but I always had a tremendous respect for the likes of Neil Doak, Garfield Harrison and Stephen Warke. In Section Two one of the best I ever played against was the Instonians professional Partha Sharma.
Q. Most difficult opponents:
In Section One it has to be Waringstown, just a completely different breed, culture, whatever you want to call it. Section Two it was Instonians, probably one of the best innings I played was against them at Shane Park, scoring about 70 on a lively wicket against Russell Adams and Chris McQuay, I came off black and blue, letís say I took more than one for the team that day.
Q. Any regrets
Regrets, not really, things I would do differently maybe. I suppose if you want a regret it is never to have won the Challenge Cup, or indeed any cup, the closest I came was sharing the Junior Cup with Muckamore. If the opportunities were around then that there are now, I would certainly have gone to senior cricket at 20 rather than 30, itís not that I wasnít asked many times. I have enjoyed my cricket it was never a career for me, but I think I could have looked after my fitness a lot better. Also I played 20 maybe 30 times in the inter-pros and I would love to know was I ever close to getting an Irish cap!
Q. Future ambitions
I have plenty; I am enjoying what I am doing with the Union. When I quit the game I tried umpiring for a season but it was just not for me, so I became involved in the Admin side. I think I have plenty of ideas which I am always willing to share; I certainly donít have all the answers, most will probably agree with that. I want to help make the game better, what does that mean; more enjoyable, more people playing, I am also on the Cricket Ireland board and it is great to see a global perspective.
We are trying to communicate better with the clubs via road shows etc. and the media have a key role to play. In the future I want to see more teams, more people playing the game, grounds improving. Cricket Ireland has ambitious targets and I want to see cricket become a frontline sport. It would be great to have an indoor centre of excellence in the NCU area and more cricket development officers. Lastly I want to see Muckamore up there as one of the top eight teams in the NCU.