The Bears have been particularly fortunate to recruit two Bath University students to the squad for the last two years in the guise of Tom Harris and Joe de Souza.
Both guys played their last game of the 2019 season for The Bears on Saturday 1 June, against Beehive Southwick, before returning to their respective homes for the summer vacation.
Tom and Joe met at Bath University though the university cricket team, becoming firm, but competitive, friends. They found their way to The Glasshouse via a contact with Saturday XI Captain, Mark (one more year) Gunning.
Tom, 20, has been playing cricket for fourteen years at Bashley Rydall CC in the New Forest. Bashley Rydall is a real family affair, with dad Steve being the groundsman, and mum Di actively managing the All Stars programme, club website and regular scorer (with coloured pens) for the club. Younger brother Jack also plays for Bashley.
Before arriving at The Glasshouse, Tom regularly helped out with coaching the younger members of his club via the coaching support worker qualification. His sense of humour and desire to make cricket fun made him a regular favourite at the club.
Tom describes himself as a medium to fast paced opening bowler and middle order batsman. Tom is incredibly modest, but the same cannot be said for his ambitions with Bear Flat. His dream is to bowl a hat trick, progressing to a five wicket haul, and score a century for The Bears.
Tom is studying physics and can often be found extolling the virtues of the atom whilst waiting to bat. He has a philanthropic outlook on life and has visions of being an inventor, designing something which will solve one of the world’s many problems.
Tom will be absent for the remainder of 2019 and the 2020 season, as he will be on placement at Hedge End in Southampton, and will play for Bashley during that time. He will be back at Bath Uni in 2021 and will make a welcome return to The Bears.
Di, Tom’s mum, describes him as perfect in his imperfection. The Bears would challenge that statement, believing there are shades of Mary Poppins about Tom, as a bowler he is practically perfect in every way.
Joe de Souza, 20, has also been associated with cricket for nine years. Brought up in, and playing for, East Grinstead.
Joe describes himself as an opening bat, originally bowling heat, which degenerates into mediocre spin. He now prefers to be described as a specialist fielder/all rounder. His aspiration with The Bears is to score a century.
Joe is infamous for his competitive spirit and desire to win. No one gives Joe a harder time than Joe when he does not meet his own exacting standards, or gives his wicket away wantonly.
In his younger days he was guilty of bat flinging in the dressing room when he lost his wicket, irrespective of whether the result was or was not justified. With age has come maturity, and the dressing room bench is now quite safe, although a ten minute sulk is still not unheard of.
Joe is studying mechanical engineering at Bath University, but currently has not plans to utilise the qualification on graduation.
Asked what he wants to be when he grows up, Joe shows the boyish smile for which he is renowned. “A detective”. Really? When it was suggested he would be a regular Hercule Poirot, his smile faded and he replied gruffly “More Line of Duty actually”.
Joe’s year out will be spent at the Ministry of Justice in London, which should give him some real insight into his professed chosen career.
Given Joe’s forensic approach to his batting, we are sure he will be back arresting the progress of the opposition in 2021.
So in closing, all that remains to be said is, thanks for everything boys, we will miss you and wish you all the best…. See you in 2021.