Aussie Jack McNamara is loving life in the Colne Valley and, as captain of Golcar Cricket Club, he’s excited for the new season.
Jack lives in Golcar with wife Louise, 35, and their 15-month-old daughter Alice. He’s been with Golcar for the best part of a decade and permanently swapped Melbourne, Australia’s second city, for a village in God’s own county three years ago.
Jack, 34, said: “I played 15 years of great cricket in Australia then, about 10 years ago, I came over here to be an overseas player for Golcar. I met my wife and we were dating back and forth from here and Australia and then I moved here permanently three years ago.
“I love living in Golcar and I’m very proud to do so. A lot of people were very kind to me when I first came over here so I want to really do well for them as captain of the club.”
Aussies are fiercely competitive by nature and Jack has had to adapt his style somewhat. “The attitude is a bit different over there to over here,” said Jack. “Back home it’s all very competitive even in training and there’s an attitude of the harder you work the luckier you get. Here it’s more relaxed and, as captain, I’m trying to find a middle ground.”
The cricket season is set to start on April 17 and Jack is looking for a successful campaign. He is targeting a top half finish in the Huddersfield Cricket League’s Premiership. The club will also become the first in the league to live stream all its matches.
Jack said: “In the last full season we got to the semi-finals of the cup and won the T20 competition. We also finished in the top half of the table. If we do similar to that this year that’d be great.
“We trained for the first time a few nights ago. We’ve scheduled training to be three nights a week. It isn’t mandatory to turn up though for the first few weeks. We just want to offer somewhere where people can come and train and get outside.”
One thing Jack is looking forward to is reconnecting with all his friends around the sport he loves. He thinks all sports clubs will provide a boost to people’s health and mental well-being as they open up again.
“The big thing with cricket is the social side to the game,” said Jack. “People like to go because they can spend time with their mates, have a laugh and talk rubbish!
“Sports clubs of all types are a fantastic hub for the community and we are no different in Golcar. Something that has happened during Covid is people’s mental health has taken a dive especially in lockdown.
“I think that’s where sports clubs will have a big impact moving forward. Young men, in particular, aren’t the best at talking about their struggles with mental health.
“However if they are involved in a team it certainly might be a more comfortable setting for those men to open up.”