KCC Dream Team - Matt Atkin

KCC Dream Team - Matt Atkin

Having had the privilege of playing a lot of first and second team cricket at my time at Karori, I have picked my Dream Team XI on form, both on and off the field, over both grades. I have also decided not to use any players that have been picked by Simon Baker in the previous edition…There are a number that have unfortunately missed out, it was great thinking back and reminiscing about those who I have played with…Can’t say I miss selection however…

  1. Stefan Allen

Stefan was a devastating opening bat, with a cover drive straight out of M. D. Crowe’s text book. Playing a lot of ones and twos cricket, he was a mainstay of the club and clubbies for a number of seasons. Has to be in the team as well due to his old man Bill the Butcher (insert Gipps St Butchery plug here) regularly being generous with bangers for the BBQ and Hams for the Xmas functions…

  1. Charles Gallagher

Charlie has always displayed huge potential as a batsman, and always told everyone so. The self-proclaimed ‘KCC Wall’ or ‘D. Bradman’ never really had the chance at the top, so I am going to go out on a limb and give him a go, doesn’t handle the short ball that well however so could be exposed… But really, Charlie, Horse, Blood, Gals, Rahul, whatever you want to call him, you know you would get 110% out of him, as he charged in bowling right arm meds. In his prime had one of the longest run-ups in the game, but we managed to shorten it as he slowly started to break down.

  1. Chris Spring

For mine, Springa was a surprise non-selection from the previous edition of the KCC Dream Team. Up there as the best no. 3 in Wellington, you could almost always rely on Spring to score truck loads throughout a season, tonning up was for fun. Possibly under bowled in his career, he would instead spend all his time in slips - he barely ever dropped one. Some say that he was the Mark Waugh of the family, and in later years it was Richie that really cemented the spot as the number one Spring (Chris may or may not have retired by then). His frosted tips and fake diamond earring were easily recognisable from the side line for supporters, however his love for cricket was potentially cut short by meeting his love Vic, and pursuing the family life.

  1. James Hill

Jimmy Hill was probably one of the most talented all round players I ever played with. His left handed batting at times was ridiculous (as was batting with an iPod), he made it look so easy. He could also rip his offies like no other, and the only real blemish to his arsenal was in close fielding, where he couldn’t catch a cold –this may have been due to some Friday night antics however. Nowadays you can find Jimmy at Scots College as the Director of Cricket, really giving back to the game he once loved so much.

  1. Hamish Templeton (k)

Some say Hamish/Nige grew up learning his trade in Whanganui, that may or may not be true. A larger than life individual on and off the field (2 cans and he’s toast), Temps had the hard task of taking over the first team captaincy after Bakes’ reign. Unfortunately his career went down from there. Claim to fame being scoring a massive hundred at the Basin in the Pearce Cup final, however really it was his keeping that most people took notice of – he should have started it earlier.

  1. Jono Sole

Who wouldn’t want Soley in their team? It appears that the man can do anything! Best known for his multi coloured beard and big hitting, we shouldn’t forget that he is now an integral part of the agricultural community. Soley is one of those players that can slot in anywhere, and turn a game in your favour. His right arm meds have progressed more and more to become extremely dangerous, especially more recently since becoming skipper as he seems to have been getting a lot more overs…

  1. Nick Hearn

Nick ‘Lucky’ Hearn was the ultimate all-rounder for a number of years at KCC, coming to the club after a stint with the old foes Easts. He quickly gained the nickname ‘Lucky’ as he was always so unlucky! A proven performer with bat and ball for both the ones and twos sides, he had an extensive knowledge of the game, ‘nuffie-like’. Many more titles would have been won with if Lucky had have continued to play, however rumour has it that the lure of a potential professional golf contract took him away from the game. Lucky also worked behind the scenes on the committee, and his name is on the board as a VP.

  1. Tama Walker  

Tama is the spinner of my team - a left arm tweaker, and more than handy lower order bat – and in all my years of cricket probably the best fielder I have come across. Some of his antics on the field were truly ridiculous, and only to be believed if you saw it. Tama was always in for the after party, and never have I met a man who enjoys a dress up more than him – Mo’Vember winner at least a couple of years running. His time at KCC was interrupted by work and having to move to the deep South, where he is forging a great career behind the scenes for Otago Cricket and the wider community.

  1. Fletcher Te Aika

Where to start with FTA. The man, the myth, the legend that is. Joining us from CHCH Fletch made an instant impact at the club, with a great work ethic, and a real passion for partying. Coming off only 3 paces, his shoulder missiles could hurry any batsman up. If you thought that myself or Bakes were sweaty men, Fletch takes the cake, it’s surprising that he hasn’t actually drowned! Other notable awards include: Premier Bowler of the year (circa 2014), and best Bavarian Bar Maid story as a reason for being late to a game…

  1. Andrew Mercer

Up there as the best overseas pro we ever had, Merce consistently hit a length that made him hard to play – back then Wellington wickets were low, slow and very green – a perfect storm for Merce to contribute 40+ wickets a season. Off the field he also contributed, being the last man to drive the club car………into a bunch of parked cars, needless to say that was the end of the club car. I believe he also won some awards in Lord of the Rings for playing the character Gollum.

  1. Simon Kent    (c)

‘Sligh’ was always the first name on the team selection list, due to being the greatest number 11 batsman of all time. Countless times he made valuable contributions, as our tail often wagged. As a player he played more than 20 years straight for K Town, not many can say they have done that. Throughout his career Sligh was a consistent wicket taker, and in his youth was up there as one of the fastest around. He certainly liked to make life uncomfortable for the oppo.

12/13) Simon Baker & Mark Jurgeleit

Had to sneak these two in somehow, whenever they were playing something was going to happen.

 To be fair, Bakes would probably have made my 11 opening ahead of Gallagher, but I didn’t see my name in his 11. The legend that is Si Baker will forever be etched in K Town history, he has provided so many performances, over so many years, that will be talked about long after we are gone – will he ever stop playing? An example of how hard work and determination can get you places – started in the lower grades, made his way up and captained the Premier Side to a Pearce Cup victory.…

Jurgs on and off the field has provided some of my most memorable highlights, with an uncanny ability to score runs at a real rate (or at least not waste time and get out quickly), and take wickets at times they were needed. Hands down no one will ever beat his jug sculling ability, he even has international records to prove it.