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President's message   23/05/2017

Letter from the President

Fellow members,

We are now very much at the tail end of our season, and I would like to provide you all with a wrap up on the various activities in our Club in advance of our AGM this Thursday, 25th May @ 8:00pm.

RUGBY

  • We congratulate our host of professional players that have progressed so well and so quickly from our ranks:

Jack Conan & Rory O’Loughlin on their selection in the Irish Squad to tour the USA and Japan this Summer.

Steve Crosbie and Peter Robb for securing full time contracts with Connacht next season.

  • Our Senior XV endured a very difficult second half to their AIL season and unfortunately this led to our relegation from Division 1A. Naturally, we are all hugely disappointed with this outcome, none more so than the players themselves. In my opinion, we were extremely unlucky with injuries to key players at crucial times and also the unavailability of some of our contracted players when other teams were able to call on theirs. The team put in many heroic performances, particularly in away matches against Terenure, Cork Constitution and Garryowen. This team showed great character in their final 2 games of the season and were only narrowly beaten by one score or less against Cork Constitution in the Bateman Cup All Ireland Final and Lansdowne in the Leinster Senior Cup Final. They do have the consolation of some silverware in having won the Leinster Senior League back in September.
  • Paul Cunningham has stood down as Head Coach to our Senior XV. We thank Paul for his huge input over the last number of seasons, not only with the Senior XV, but also throughout our Club, from Minis to Women’s to Juniors and U20’s.
  • Eddie O’Sullivan has been appointed as Head Coach to the Senior Panel for next season. Eddie is fully committed to Old Belvedere, and he is already hard at work putting in place structures, speaking with our existing players and assisting with player recruitment, as we seek to strengthen our panel.
  • Our J1 team finished the season on an incredible high, and are undoubtedly our top performing team in our Club this season. They went on an unprecedented winning streak of games that culminated in them winning the J1 Metro League for the very first time in our Club’s history (78 years trying!) and the J1 Metro Plate Competition. Expertly and enthusiastically coached by Tim Healy & Alan (Des) Trenier and captained by Max Ludwig, this team are an absolute credit to themselves and represented our Club magnificently.
  • Our J2’s finished 5th in a very competitive Metro League Division 3 and had a decent Cup campaign.
  • Our J3’s were very unlucky not to achieve a League & Cup double, losing out to St Mary’s in the League, but ultimately winning a great Winters Cup final against Old Wesley to bring some more silverware back to Anglesea Road.
  • Our J4’s were very competitive all season, but unfortunately a couple of crucial losses saw them finish in 4th place in Metro League Division 10.
  • Our Chair of Junior Rugby, Ian Madden, is taking a well-deserved time out after many seasons of great work in helping to bring our Junior Rugby section in to the healthy state it is now. We thank Ian for his huge input, and hope to see him back involved again before too long.
  • Our U20’s teams played entertaining and attractive rugby throughout this season and the Premier 2 team finished in 3rd place in the League, while the Premier 3 team finished in mid table. The Premier 2 team gave a great account of themselves in the Purcell Cup, losing narrowly to St Mary’s in the final.
  • We are immensely proud of our 8 members chosen for the Women’s Rugby World Cup training squad;

Nora Stapleton, Jenny Murphy, Ali Miller, Hannah Tyrell, Ailis Egan, Jennie Finlay, Mary Louise O’Reilly & Sophie Spence.

  • Our Women's 1st XV were extremely unlucky not to win their 4th straight AIL title in a row, when losing out to a star studded UL Bohemians in the final. Our team were decimated by injuries to our marquee players post the 6 Nations, but the team that took the field gave it their all and will have benefitted hugely from the experience.
  • Women’s 1st XV coach, Yvonne Nolan, is stepping down to spend more time with her young family. Yvonne has given us many years of great service and we thanks her for her dedication to the Women’s section.
  • Our Women’s J1 team progressed well throughout the season and were able to blood a great number of new players. They also lost in their Paul Flood Cup Final to an impressive Tullow side.
  • Our U14 Youths' team performed well throughout the season under the coaching of Senior XV player, Connor Owende and manager Bobby O'Brien. They lost to Clontarf in their league final, but prospects are looking good for this team to progress on to U15’s for next season.
  • Our Mini Rugby section continues to perform strongly, with great numbers learning the game every Sunday morning, under expert coaching from a huge number of equally enthusiastic and qualified parents.
  • The U12’s tour to Lake Garda and a tournament in Petrarca Rugby Club in Padua was an enormous success, and a great way for this group of boys to sign off on their Mini Rugby days before heading in to Youths rugby.

 

RUGBY STRATEGY

  • The Rugby Strategy document prepared by Mervyn Feely and Morgan Sheehy is now substantially complete and undergoing some minor, final amendments. This has proven to be a very useful exercise for each and every section within our Club and a number of new initiatives have already been put in place, particularly at U20's level. A summary of the proposals will be made available.

FINANCIAL

  • The Financial Controller, John McGoldrick, will provide an update on the accounts at the AGM on Thursday.

DEVELOPMENT

  • The Development Project is now complete. Players and spectators alike are now enjoying the enhanced facilities. Capital fundraising is still ongoing, and we are on schedule to meet all our commitments as they fall due, as part of retention payments over the remainder of 2017.

SOCIAL

  • Last Saturday night, 20th May, our Players Development Fundraising Committee (enthusiastically led by Simon Killeen and Charlene Roche) ran a hugely enjoyable End of Season Ball & Awards night in the Radisson Hotel in Golden Lane. A good turnout from all sections of our Club were in attendance to see the annual rugby awards presented and then the festivities carried on until the wee hours! A huge thanks to the organisers and also to all those who supported and attended the event.

In summary, it has been a season of highs and lows throughout OUR Club with many members supporting OUR great club in different roles and ways. To those members I offer my thanks.

Of course we could always benefit from more volunteers and members assisting throughout the year, so if you are not currently involved, why not consider putting your hand up for a role/job. I can vouch that it is not only great fun being involved in Old Belvedere, but also really rewarding to see our Club improve on all fronts.

Wishing you all a restful and enjoyable off-season. See you shortly for pre-season!!!

Willie Norse

President





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