Happy New Year! I am honoured to have been elected President for the 2019 / 2020 season and welcome you all to Ollie Campbell Park.
Thanks to our Club Director of Rugby, Tim Healy, who has worked tirelessly throughout the summer along with all sections of the club to ensure we are as prepared as possible.
Whereas training and recruitment has been ongoing through the summer the competitive season commences next Friday evening 6th September in Stradbrook with our Leinster League fixture v Blackrock. Our first home game is the following Saturday v Skerries and I invite all members to the club that day to meet the players afterwards as we host a Social Club Day. There are a number of games planned that day so please lend support on and off the field.
Recruitment at all levels of the club has been intensive all summer and continues. I wish to welcome all the new players to the club from Mini to Senior. Some of the new players made their debuts in a successful pre-season training camp to Limerick v Garryowen, notably Jerry Cahir, Ryan McMahon, Joe Vion, Ben O’Shea and Tom Coughlan who are also part of our U20 squad. They were joined by Joe Horan, Dave St Ledger, Darragh Sweeney, Tommy Whittle, Billy Hayes, Ariel Robles, James McKeon, Dylan Symonds and Dean Moore, (returning after four years in France and Limerick). I also wish to welcome back Aaron Sheehan who along with Dylan and Dean were key players for the club in recent years.
We have nearly 1,000 playing members at all levels in the club and we must make them welcome and feel part of the Old Belvedere family while they represent the club and encourage them to be part of this great club for life.
I wish all our team coaches, management and captains the very best for the season ahead and hope they get just rewards for their effort, dedication and loyalty to our club. I wish to extend a warm welcome back to former captain Ray Monaghan who has joined the senior coaching set up of Andy Kenny and Ian Smith along with Josh Brown and Alan Trenier.
Our under 20s under the direction of Quenton O’Neale and Pat Kenny have added Jack O’Beirne and Oran O’Brien to the coaching group. Recruitment has been strong and we wish them well for the season.
Given the success of our junior section in recent years Paul Taaffe and his coaches and management face new challenges this year as the J2s promotion leads them into unchartered territory.
We have a new coaching group in the Women’s section and good luck to Nora Stapleton, Ailis Egan, Maz Reilly and Cathy Murphy for the year ahead.
I invite all members to encourage new people to join our club, either playing or non-playing. Our minis section, for example, has been the best section in the province for many years and we would like to maintain that status so please encourage new members from the very young to the not so young that Old Belvedere is the best place to begin their rugby experience. I wish to thank all the coaches who commit so much time to this section. In a new initiative thanks to Bobby O’Brien and his management team, who are preparing an Under 17s squad for the season. Good luck to everyone.
To all our representative players we wish you the best of luck for your provinces and look forward to seeing you in the Black and White throughout the season.
A particular note of thanks to our sponsors, volunteers and contributors without whom we cannot compete.
Finally to all our supporters, families and friends I ask for 100% support and commitment to all our teams and players whenever and wherever they take the field. We must be committed to our club, the players will give 100% and we must back them to succeed. We must respect our opposition and the officials.
“Entitlement is NOT in our dictionary. Old Belvedere will EARN everything we achieve this year through PERSPIRATION and HARD WORK!!”
OBRFC President 2019-20.