Dear Members, Supporters and Visitors
It is a great honour for me to be elected President of Railway Union Rugby Football Club for the season 2011-2012. It will be a challenging one for me in all areas and will require great effort from everyone. I hope that with your help, we will continue to uphold the traditions of friendship in rugby at Railway Union.
Last season was one of the most difficult in the club’s recent history, with the club struggling to field their strongest team due to a long injury list and players leaving to find jobs outside Ireland. The season ended with a loss in the relegation/promotion play-off against Swords RFC. The result was not a fair reward for the efforts put in by players last season.
As many clubs do at a time of difficulty, we pulled together. It was great to see new people step up at the AGM, willing to work hard to put the club back on track. I have based the success of my first year as President on the following 3 things targets:
- To have 2 teams playing adult rugby in Railway Union for the season 2011/2012.
- Re-structure the club and get new people involved in playing and running the club.
- Get match standard floodlights so that matches can be played on Friday/Saturday evenings.
I would like to thank Cleaning Contractors for coming on board as the main club sponsor this year. Ciaran and his family have given great support to the club over many years and at these difficult times it is all the more appreciated. In addition I would like to say a big thanks to our other sponsors Marathon Sports Travel, John Nolan & Company Solicitors and Whiteside & Cullinan. The sponsors are vital to re-building the club and their support is much appreciated.
Before the season started, the club had some fortune when it was promotion to Division 2B, as Carlow IT entered the U21 League. I hope that the club will be competing for promotion from this league to Division 2A.
After an exhaustive search for a new head coach, the club appointed Keith Sothern as a playing head coach. Keith brings a lot of playing experience, including at AIL level, to Railway Union, which combined with his high level of enthusiasm for the role made him stand out from all other candidates that were interviewed for the role. Jack Hanratty will join the coaching team with responsibility for the forwards. The coaches will be supported by John Walsh as first team manager. This is one of the youngest coaching teams in the division but I believe that they can bring the club success this season.
I would like to thank the new committee members that put themselves forward this year. A club is never about one person, but a team of people on and off the field. The committee have been working very hard to re-structure the club while supporting the two adult teams on the pitch.
We welcome Barry Lynch back to Railway Union and we are delighted he has taken up the role of Club Captain for this season. The second team will be led by Cian Greally who had put himself forward for the role once more, having previously led Railway teams to league success.
The season ahead will have many challenges, but I feel confident that the club has a great future and it can be successful once more. I would ask all people who have been associated with Railway over the years to come back and help to rebuild our club as there is a role for everybody to play.
I look forward to seeing you all at the club this season.
Railway Union RFC