Youth & Mini Update

Jan 12, 2017


As we start into the second half of the season I just wanted to give everyone an update on what has been happening so far.

This year we have nearly 420 children registered and playing every week. This is a very strong number and coupled with coaching staff it is a large operation to run.











































We have also had an increase in the number of parents that are getting involved in volunteering to help out across the non-pitch aspects of running the club. This is a great way to get to know more people and I would like to thank everyone  involved in helping to make it run as smoothly as possible.

For the 1st time, we are fielding teams from U6/7 right through to U17s. This a big achievement as once the age groups get into youths rugby, (U13s to U17s), it becomes more difficult to field teams due to schools commitments and the draw of other sports. So a big thanks you to all those that have put in the effort to get the youths teams out.


Minis (U6/7 to U12)

The focus on minis is to ensure the kids are enjoying the game and to get the skills levels up. The teams all take part in friendlies and Branch co-ordinated games, but the focus is firmly on skills development and ensuring that kids learn to enjoy the game in a safe and structure manner.

The minis teams (U6 to U12), have been training and playing games all over Leinster. We have hosted visiting teams and/or visited, Blackrock, Carlow, Nenagh, Greystones, Navan, St Marys, DLSP, Gorey, Westmanstown, Bective, Malahide, Ashbourne, Coolmine. Lots of action!

The blitzs will continue into the 2017 while balancing it with the training. A few of the older groups will also be doing some traveling further afield.


Youths (U13 to U17)

At youths level the games move to 15 aside full pitch, full contact games. Our youth teams play in Metro division of the Leinster Branch Leagues which started in early October. Phase 1 of the league is essentially a grading league and is used to get a guide as to the strength of teams in the different clubs. The placing in Phase 1 of the league determines the division the team will be placed in for Phase 2 of the league.

The Metro League, Phase 2, is the competitive part of the league. Matches start in late November, with the winner of each division winning the Metro League Cup.

In late January, the Metro Cup competition starts. This is a straight knock out competition for all Metro clubs, with the winner taking home the Metro Cup for the year.

Finally there is the Metro invitational cup. This is an invitational competition for the Metro teams, with the top teams in the Metro area being invited to compete by the Leinster Branch.

So lots of competitive rugby ahead for our youths teams.


Girls Tag :

The girls tag has started from zero 2 years ago. There are a range of ages across the girls with focus of this group firmly on skills development in a non-contact environment.  Festivals take place throughout the year. At the festivals the girls are split age categories and, if the numbers aren’t sufficient, mixed with other clubs to keep the games age appropriate.  



This season minis and youths have appointed Will Matthews as the Head Coach for minis and youths. Will moved to Ireland a few years ago after playing professional rugby with WASPS and playing with the England 7s team. He was assistant coach to the Senior XV team and this year is the Head coach of the J1s team.

Will is working across the different age groups lending his experience and expertise to help the coaching teams and to bring a consistent approach to how your children are being coached and how they are learning not just how to play the game, but how Lansdowne wants them to learn the game.

There are also 8 of the 1st team players that are coaching across the different groups. These lads represent the club in the AIL division 1 and it is great to have them involved with minis and youths passing on their experience. 

The next home game for the Senior XV is December 3rd for a top of the table clash with Young Munster. Please come along and support the lads that are coaching your children.


Lansdowne FC Rugby Academy:

The first of a series of Academy camps was held over the mid-term (Nov 1-3). It was open to children from U10s through to U16s, and split into 3 separate training groups. A great success with 40 boys attending.

Mike Ruddock, (Head coach of the 1st XV, ex-grand slam winning and Ireland U20s coach), led the team of coaches, which included 3 of the clubs Ireland 7s players and Head of coaching for the Minis and Youths, Will Matthews.

The next camp is already been planned for 2017. We hope to develop the Academy into the summer holidays as well. Please keep an eye out for the announcement of upcoming dates.


Club Welfare Officers :

Mary Marren and Sinead Coolican are the designated Club Welfare Officers. If you have any concerns regarding welfare issues please contact them on


Lansdowne Club Kit:

Our supplier of non-playing kit, Uniformity, is coming into the club next Sunday the 27th November from 10am to 1pm to showcase all the Lansdowne crested kit available for purchase for the children. This will include items such as beanie hats, backpacks,  hoodies, fleeces, tracksuit pants which are great Christmas gifts.

All items will be available for order on the day (payments by cash, cheque and credit card accepted on the day) and will then be delivered to the club approximately two weeks later.

We will send an email to advise when these can be collected after orders are received and processed by Uniformity.

Alternatively you can purchase directly from their website and have items delivered directly to your home. Please see the link below


Playing Kit :

Jerseys, shorts and socks are available in the club. The big rush on plying kit was in September & October. However if you need kit, please contact Aisling Feighery on


Sunday Morning Bar/ Cafe Service

The parents social committee have been working with the bar staff to improve the offering on Sunday mornings. Over the last few weeks, Cafa Java have kindly provided a fully trained barista, Caroline, to get the frothy coffees out to parents and train up the bar staff. Individually made lattes, Americanos etc are now available at the bar. They have also been working on improving the selections of food available with a better selection of scones etc now available.


Date for the diary :

Y&M Annual Dinner : March 31st

The annual Minis and Youths dinner is scheduled for March 31st 2017. This has proved to be a very popular event and sells out very quickly. It’s a great social occasion for all minis and youths parents. Final details will be confirmed early in the new year.


St. Michaels College

The club has secured the use the new 4G pitch in St. Michaels College for this season. We are extremely fortunate to have the use of these facilities and very grateful to the Board of Management of St Michaels for granting the club access.

Our thanks also go to the pitches committee who have worked very hard on securing the use of additional grounds for some time.

Between LFC, Irishtown, Marian, Ballychorus and now St Michaels, the pressure we have on managing teams access to pitch time will be greatly relieved. 

The use of the facilities in St Michaels has some strict guidelines which have been communicated to us by the school and the pitch maintenance company.

  1. Traditional screw in or moulded studs only. No worn studs.
  2. No bladed boots. On this surface blades can cause ankle injuries when turning.
  3. No runners: Runners damage the surface when stopping suddenly / skidding by melting the synthetic grass.
  4. All coaches must wear studded boots.
  5. No spectators on the pitch. All spectators must remain outside the fencing.
  6. No animals on school grounds.
  7. No food or chewing gum on the pitch.

A lot of “Nos” in this list, but they are all for good reasons. This is an exceptional facility to have access to, and the rules of use advised by the school need to be strictly enforced.


LFC Pitch :

We have been asked to tighten up on a few of the rules that apply to the use of the synthetic pitch on Lansdowne Road. 

We have gotten fairly casual about these, but :

  1. Prams, scooters, bikes etc are not allowed on the pitch as they cause damage to the surface.
  2. It is strictly forbidden to bring any animals onto the pitch. There are obvious health issues over any animal being allowed on the pitch. Please ensure that they are kept outside the fencing.
  3. Food and drink are not allowed on the pitch. Drink spillages (coffees, teas, and sports drink) and food left on the pitch can cause "contamination" of the playing surface. This is a difficult one to manage on early / cold mornings, but please ensure that all containers, food etc are removed from the pitch and no spillages occur.

Please ensure that you adhere to these rules.


Rugby Balls :

At the start of the season the 12 different age groups get a new set of rugby balls (typically 10 to 15). Since September approximately 45 balls have been taken during / after training sessions. One group has had 7 of their 10 new balls taken. These have to be replaced at a cost (c.€20 a ball).  

Can you please ensure that team balls are;

  • Only used during training sessions by the team, and
  • They are not taken home in error.

We appreciate your help in self-marshalling this.


Yours in rugby

Kieran Walsh


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