It is in the depths of winter when players and clubs decide a change is needed for the forthcoming summer. The reasons are plentiful - clubs look to improve here fortunes or to develop themselves (or perhaps need to replace a player who has moved elsewhere!). Players may have moved house, or want a new challenge, or "differences in opinion" lead to a new home.
But as with most things in Leinster cricket, this is not a new phenomenon. Thanks to the work of Eddie Lewis and his helpers, we can now easily delve into the individual history of the 5511 players to have played "Senior"* cricket in the province since 1919.
Incredibly, 1237 of those 5511 players (22%) have played senior cricket for more than one club in their careers. Those figures are however slightly skewed by the unique place that Dublin University has within Leinster's history.
More players have played for Trinity than any other club (808 to Phoenix's 722) and exactly 400 of those have played for other clubs. Similarly there were 48 players from UCD who played for other clubs in the 1920s and 22 players from Cork County who played for the combined Munster Red sides in the 1990s and 2000s as well as presenting Cork County. That leaves 767 players who have played for more than one "traditional" club in 102 year history of cricket in the province, just under 14%.
So who are these players? And which clubs have seen most traffic between them? And which the least?
One player played senior cricket for six clubs, the new Vanuatu coach, Jeremy Bray. Bray dominated Leinster cricket, starting with Phoenix (1998-2004 and again in 2011), before moving to Clontarf (2005), The Hills (2007-2010), YMCA (2013-2016), Terenure (2017) and Rush (2018).
Six players played for five clubs, and all six are in the modern era. Darren Nicol (Terenure 2009-2010, Pembroke 2011-2015, Dublin University 2015, North Kildare 2016-2017 and YMCA in 2018), Trent Johnston (pictured above with John Mooney) (Carlisle 1995-1998, Leinster 2001, Clontarf 2004-2006, Railway Union 2007-2011 and YMCA 2012-2014), Reinhardt Strydom (Malahide 2001-2002 and 2014-2015, Old Belvedere 2003, North County 2004-2008, YMCA 2009-2013 and Phoenix 2016-2018), Ted Williamson (Old Belvedere 1991-1993, Pembroke 1994-1999, Munster Reds 2000-2008, Phoenix 2009-2011, Terenure 2013-2014), Tinus Fourie (Clontarf 2001-2003, Phoenix 2004-2005, Merrion 2006-2007, Railway Union 2008, North County 2009) and Keith Banks (Old Belvedere 1992, Carlisle 1996, Munster Reds 1996-2008, Pembroke 2006 and Cork County 2006-2012)
At the other end of the scale, there are those who played their entire club at one club, and those with the more than 500 appearances are Ginger O'Brien (Railway Union, 705 appearances between 1959 and 2001), Ray Moulton (Pembroke, 618, 1953-1992), Enda McDermott (Clontarf, 539, 1953-1993), Fintan Synnott (Old Belvedere, 535, 1965-2002), Alan Lewis (YMCA, 529, 1979-2017) and Ken Hope (Pembroke, 519, 1955-1990)
How about for clubs? Do some clubs seem to contain players who are more loyal? And is there something akin to a free labour market between some clubs, and a brick wall between others? Below we look at the clubs who have played senior cricket since the 1960s, (not including the following clubs who have played Senior cricket - 3rd OBU, County Kildare, Cremore, Imperial Tobacco Company, Monkstown, Postal Services, RHMS and UCD)
|Club||Total players||Other club that most players have played for||%age of players that have played for other clubs (inc Trinity)||%age of players that have played for other clubs (excl Trinity)|
|Balbriggan||68||North County (8)||36.8%||35.3%|
|Carlisle||143||Trinity (13) then Railway Union (12)||37.8%||28.7%|
|Civil Service||244||Clontarf (21)||31.1%||29.5%|
|Clontarf||442||Civil Service (21)||41.4%||31.4%|
|Cork County||81||Munster Reds (22) then Pembroke (6)||46.9%||45.7%|
|Dublin University||808||Phoenix (85)||49.5%||49.5%|
|Leinster||557||Dublin University (50) then Phoenix (28)||44.0%||35.0%|
|Malahide||301||Dublin University (15) then Clontarf (14)||29.9%||24.9%|
|Merrion||474||Dublin University (49) then Leinster (20)||28.5%||18.1%|
|Munster Reds||89||Cork County (22) then Pembroke (7)||53.9%||53.9%|
|North County||155||Malahide (11)||40.6%||40.0%|
|North Kildare||23||Terenure (2)||43.5%||39.1%|
|Old Belvedere||263||Dublin University (15) then Clontarf (9)||29.9%||23.2%|
|Pembroke||494||Dublin University (41) then Leinster (23)||38.1%||29.8%|
|Phoenix||722||Dublin University (85) then Leinster (28)||36.4%||24.7%|
|Railway Union||422||Pembroke (21)||29.9%||26.5%|
|Rush||124||The Hills (9)||34.7%||33.1%|
|Terenure||234||Dublin University (19) then Phoenix (14)||44.4%||36.3%|
|The Hills||144||North County (9)||44.4%||42.4%|
|YMCA||417||Dublin University (37) then Phoenix (16)||35.3%||26.4%|
The Hills and North County would stand out as being the major clubs that have more than 40% of their players playing for other clubs, whilst at the other end of the scale, Merrion, Malahide and Phoenix would seem to have the more "loyal" club membership, all coming in at under 25% of players who have played for other clubs (excluding Trinity).
And finally, how about the last great barriers to be broken, the clubs from from which players have never moved to or from? Amongst others, no player has played for Leinster and Rush and only one player has played for Malahide and Pembroke (Richard Murphy), one for Merrion and North County (Tinus Fourie) and one for The Hills and Clontarf (Jeremy Bray)
If you have any questions, or would like to use the data used in this article, please contact Paul Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org