It is with great pleasure that I welcome all players, supporters and visiting teams to Lakelands Park for another enthralling season of AIL rugby. It was the famous ‘Nure’ welcome and hospitality that greeted me when I first came down the lane nine years ago and I know the same welcome is awaiting you all today.
It is a massive honour to be selected as Club Captain for the 2017/18 season and I am confident that our squad will do everything possible to do the club proud throughout the season. Last season was a rollercoaster ride and we showed great strength of character and resolve to dig in when it mattered most to retain our Division 1A status. Our current squad is littered with some outstanding young talent from a recent era of success at U20’s combined with a strong core of leaders who won AIL 2A and went unbeaten in 1B. This is supplemented by some new additions to the squad during the summer. Guided by our coaching ticket of James Blaney and Conor Gildea, the season ahead presents us with a massive opportunity to push on and challenge the status quo at the top of 1A.
A special mention must go to the wider management team of Sean O’Mahony, Mark Hamilton and Michael Smith, Gerry Smyth on video, S&C Coach Peter Shaw, Bagman Darren Holmes, Physios; Ian Morley & Richard McDonald, Dr. Billy Twomey and the ever-present Chris Byrne. Your passion, commitment and dedication are hugely appreciated.
On behalf of the squad I would like to thank our main club sponsor BOC Gases for their longstanding association and continued support, along with H&K International and Gant, without their support we would not be able to play each week.
The J1 squad is the unsung hero in any successful 1st XV campaign and these young players push the standards higher each week. Best wishes to coaches Barry Elliot and Shane Donovan, along with team manager Dave Lynagh in their maiden season in charge of the J1’s. Similarly, to all junior teams and management; all the best for the season ahead.
Instrumental to our ambitions to become the best we can be is the support we receive from the various levels of the club; the committees, bar staff, caterers, groundsmen and volunteers which keep this club operating day to day and provide us with arguably the best rugby facilities in the country. The swathes of children that take over Lakelands on a Sunday morning is a testament to all the coaches and volunteers who sacrifice their time to make the minis a roaring success. The youth section is as vibrant as ever with the annual highlight being the Terenure 13’s European Youth Rugby Festival, a weekend not to be missed for young and old alike. A special mention must go to all the work that goes into the Terenure Tigers which is symbolic of the true community spirit which underpins everything in this club. I would urge anyone considering getting involved in the club, you will not regret it, the rewards are much greater than the efforts involved and I am excited to welcome you to become part of this tight knit community club.
Finally, I would like to thank Patrick ‘Rala’ O’Reilly and Kyle McCoy for their unwavering efforts last season and to wish President Tom Moloney the very best for the year ahead. Tom is held in very high regard amongst our squad and I am looking forward to working closely with Tom during the season.
Best of luck to all teams from mini to senior and everything in between, I hope that at this time next year we can look back on a very successful season both on and off the pitch.
Club Captain, Terenure College R.F.C. 2017/18