Firstly I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas. As 2018 draws to a close and we enjoy the Christmas festivities, it coincides with the mid-point of our 2018/19 season.
It would be an understatement to say ‘so far so good’. Our senior rugby results have exceeded expectations, successfully fielding three teams’ week on week.
Our first fifteen, playing in the newly formed and highly competitive Lancashire and Cheshire League 1, go into the break in mid-table position. Hard earned but with the realistic prospect of improving that position from January onwards. Our young squad are learning from their experience thus far and with a fit, settled squad in the second half, are capable of reversing a number of results.
Our second fifteen, playing in the North West Intermediate League (North 2), goes into the break in fourth position. After establishing themselves within the league last season.
The newly launched third fifteen, playing under the captaincy of Niki Chinn, have exceeded all expectations and currently lie second in the North West Intermediate League (North 5).
This is landmark territory for our club and very much bucking the trend of grass roots rugby at a time when many, longer established clubs are struggling to retain players and teams.
Much credit must go to Head Coach Steve Gough and his coaching team (Mike Jones and Tim Malloy) for the coaching skills and experience he continues to bring to the club. His leadership, organisation and communications have resulted in an active, registered squad of 80 players, most of whom have come through our junior coaching system.
Our Junior Colts have also made a great start to their season and are becoming a really competitive squad, this within a relatively short time span. Every credit to their coaches Niki Chin and Wayne Fox.
With respect to the minis and juniors, the foundations on which the club has been built, my sincere thanks to Barry Cook and Janet Jones. Chair and Vice Chair respectively. They continue to work tirelessly to reinforce our age-group coaching structure. Their most notable recent success has been the recruitment and re-build of an under 14 junior squad.
Away from the playing side, our hard-working volunteers continue to put in the hours to keep the grounds and clubhouse running. My sincere thanks to them all.
In 2018, we have delivered on a new web site with social media links, expertly managed by Brian Parsons.
The new upstairs bar has been constructed with a fully integrated point of sales system. This forms the first phase of the upstairs redevelopment, which is now designed and costed. The EMC is actively working to assemble the funding package required to implement the project in the next close season 2019.
We have enjoyed more sympathetic weather conditions this season, which has enabled all our teams to train and play, which is great. I hope that trend continues in the 2019 and we reflect in May on a truly wonderful season for all our teams.
Have a great Christmas with family and friends and wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!