As President of Lansdowne Football Club for Season 2016/17, I am delighted to welcome you to what promises to be a great year of Rugby and Social across all levels in our Club. From the dozens of individuals involved in the management and organisation of our Youth and Minis section, to the professional and voluntary expertise at Junior, Senior and Under 20 level, the structures are amongst the very best any amateur rugby club could hope for. As I write, significant work has already been carried out by our Director of Rugby – Stephen Rooney, our Chairman of Rugby – Colin Goode and our Director of Coaching- Mike Ruddock, in ensuring that the playing resources and skills required to maintain the Club’s position at the forefront of the amateur game are in place for 2016/17. I would earnestly ask for your support at all matches and competitions in which the Club participates and direct you to the Club website, weekly Ezine, text messaging and Club notice board which provide details of fixtures, times and venues.
Within four days of taking office as President, I was delighted to witness a Sevens selection from the Club under the guiding hand of Paddy Gore win the inaugural Dublin Sevens Competition at Donnybrook. I sincerely hope that this is an omen of things to come at XV’s levels for the remainder of the season!!
If amateur rugby is to be played at the highest level and provide physical development, enjoyment, all the advantages of Club association and to incubate on the part of the Professional game, it cannot be done without the assistance of Sponsors. The Club is extremely grateful to all our Sponsors and Advertisers many of whom have been steadfast and consistent is their support over several years. Indeed in the case of Zurich Insurances this now extends towards the back end of its second decade. Businesses small and large such as An Post, Aryzta, The Chop House, G4S, Hunters Estate Agent, Knight Frank, Mazars, Newcastle Design, O’Briens Bar, Park Developments, Heineken and Sogeti, not to mention the very many other advertisers in our Year Book and pitch side are the very vertebrae which make up the backbone of Club Sponsorship and Advertising income. Their support is very much appreciated and I would encourage our members and their wider business interests to support in whatever way possible, modest or otherwise, these sponsors and advertisers as an acknowledgement of the value we collectively place on their support to the Club.
In addition to the foregoing, I would also like to acknowledge the work and service of the very many volunteers who give generously of their personal time in the organisation and smooth running of Club activities. The Club’s Officers and Rugby Management are listed on this websites and on pages 4 and 5 of the Club’s Year Book. I would earnestly ask you to review these pages to gain a reasonable appreciation of the numbers and names of these individuals the overwhelming majority of whom are unremunerated and selflessly give service to the Club in all its manifestations. Allied to these individuals, the Club has established a comprehensive set of Sub-Committees again populated by dedicated individuals who have been tasked to assist in developing Rugby Support, Membership services, non-Rugby and Social activities and overseeing the prudent operational and strategic development of the Club. Should any member be interested in serving on these sub-committees please do not hesitate to approach me or any member of the Executive.
On the Rugby front, I am delighted to note that apart from a successful recruitment campaign this year, for the first time we see a comprehensive number (25) of our Youths and Minis graduate in membership at Under 19 level to the Junior and Under 20 ranks of the Club. It is most encouraging to see the appeal of continuing to play at the Club prevail in a post-secondary school environment by so many young players. I hope and am confident that they will continue enjoying the physical challenges of the game and that of association through membership of the Club for many many years to come. Sincere thanks to Mark McMahon and the team at Mini and Youths level for their work in this regard with these individuals over a number of years. Junior Rugby is a hugely important element of Club life providing a basis, amongst others, for those who aspire to First XV or indeed to the game after playing at that or Under 20 level with a structure to continue to play into their 30’s and beyond.
The Club disposes of some first class facilities which can accommodate and cater for a range of business and social related functions. I would strongly recommend that you review the Club’s offerings in this regard and see how favourably they compare to alternatives. Events from Private Parties to Seminars and small Conferences can comfortably be catered for within the Club’s facilities. You may be assured that Elayne Power our Events Manager and Henry Counihan our Bar and Beverage Manager will look after your requirements in a friendly and most professional manner.
I would like to congratulate Ian Prendiville on his appointment as Club and First XV Captain for 2016/17. Ian’s pedigree as a Lansdowne player extends back to 1999/2000 when he played at Under 9’s level in the Youth and Minis section. He has a fantastic track record with a Leinster SCT Cup winners medal with Clongowes Wood College, a McCorry Cup Medal with the Lansdowne under 20’s, a season as captain of that team, two AIL winner’s medals, two Leinster “A” caps and four caps in the British and Irish Club side. I am sure you will join me in extending to him our wholehearted support as he leads our playing contingents on and off the field in the forthcoming year. The sterling work done by his predecessor Scott Deasy as Captain last year should not go without remark nor acknowledgement. He lead very effectively from the front and we hope that career and family life permitting, he will continue to feature on and off the pitch for many years to come.
In referring to last Season and indeed for a number of Seasons prior to that, it would be entirely remiss not to express my own and the Club’s gratitude to a fellow Alumnus of Cistercian College Roscrea, Donal Lennon. As Club President 2015/16 and in the role he played over a number of years as Honorary Secretary prior to his elevation to the Presidential ranks he was an unselfish, dedicated and effective Officer of the Club. Given his love for the game and all things Lansdowne we can be assured that he will continue to be a vociferous attendee on the side-lines of many a match to come.
In closing, may I firstly record formally what an honour and privilege it is for me to have been elected by the Members to the Presidency of this Club as it enters the 145th Season since its foundation. To all those participating at whatever level as players in the Club, I wish you a most enjoyable and injury free Season with the hope and, indeed, expectation that your efforts in training and on match days will deliver the success that you richly deserve. To all our non-playing Members, I can but recommend to you whole heartedly that your participation manifest itself in attendance at matches of all Rugby levels in the Club, safe in the assurance that you will enjoy these and a range of social activities which your Executive and Sub-committees are committed to providing to you. To our visitors from kindred Clubs, may I extend a warm Lansdowne welcome to you and the best of luck to your players. We hope you enjoy the Lansdowne experience but not necessarily on a results basis at our expense!!
Yours in Rugby