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Colin Goode

President of Lansdowne FC 2020-21

I am delighted and honoured to be elected President of Lansdowne FC for the upcoming 2020/21 season and welcome all members and visitors to our fine clubhouse and home in Lansdowne Road. I hope to represent Lansdowne FC as well as our distinguished Past Presidents have done since 1872. Although I only have to go back to last season and hope to emulate my predecessor 2019/20 President Derry Shaw whose term was unfortunately cut short as rugby and indeed the world came to grips with the Covid -19 Pandemic.

It is an absolute credit and a source of pride to myself and all of our members that when the world was at its lowest Lansdowne FC was at its brightest and we as a club stepped up to the mark and raised money for vital PPE for Frontline staff both within our area and around the country. Lansdowne is not just an area club, we are proud to have members all over the country and indeed all over the globe. It is these members who continue to enable us to support very deserving charities by raising and donating substantial amounts every year for very worthy causes such as Pieta House, The Peter McVerry Trust, IRFU Charitable Trust and our Frontline workers amongst the many we have supported in the past and will continue to support in the future. On behalf of our members I wish to thank everyone involved but in particular Doug Leddin & Derry Shaw for their great work in securing and distributing PPE to those in need.

We also had to endure losing our long time Senior Head Coach Mike Ruddock to the Ospreys in December last year. Mike left with all of our best wishes and  was a great addition to the club and it was fitting that he has now been confirmed as an Honorary Life Member at our AGM in May. Led by Mr Lansdowne, our ever present Director of Senior Rugby, Stephen Rooney,  Coaches Mark McHugh & Ben Armstrong along with Scott Deasy and Philip Horan and the legend that is Paddy Gore, all stepped up and guided our seniors to a great second half of last season and into the play offs of the Energeia All Ireland League and a place in the Bateman Cup Final. Unfortunately, the season was cut short and the Bateman was deemed shared by both ourselves and Cork Con who we were on course to meet again in the AIL Semi Finals. The backbone of the club is our Under 20s with our senior side regularly fielding 75 to 80% of players that have come through our hugely successful 20s system and indeed we had several current under 20s in the senior team. Declan Fassbender won’t like me saying it but his record speaks for itself, he has become and is the most successful under 20s coach in Ireland and is ably assisted by Ben Armstrong and  Director of Under 20s Rugby Mark McMahon. They continued their unbeaten season of 2018 with just one league defeat last year and retained the JP Fanagan Premier 1 League Trophy and were fancied to do more damage in the cups before the season was halted. We welcomed Charlie Doel as new coach of the J1’s and they had a great season leading the league for most of the season and losing out on the title in a tightly contested play off final. Charlie along with, the energetic John Kilroy, are back again this season.  Our J2’s & J3’s have battled through a huge transition with over 25 retirements of long time players over the last couple of years and are now proving to be a force to be reckoned with once again. Junior rugby would simply have not survived without the hard work and dedication of Director of Junior Rugby Ian Hopkins who I can’t speak highly enough of the great work he does and that of Brian Whelan in particular who always has a smile on his face along with Dave Tunney , Reg White and Phil Donnellan. We are lucky to have them involved.

We welcome close to 400 minis to Lansdowne every week and the organisation at this level is a sight to behold with parents, coaches and players swarming around Lansdowne Road in club colours on a Sunday morning. It is a great sight to see and to all of you involved at this level you bring a great vibrance and excitement to the club and produce the next generation to participate, play and run our club in the future. Huge thanks to Brian Moran our Director of Mini & Youth Rugby and all of our mums and dads volunteering their time.

As I write, the Covid situation is growing more positive every day and the outlook has changed from doom and gloom to a more positive outlook both for our health and indeed sport and rugby in particular. We have appointed our new Club Covid 19 Safety Officer Kieran Walsh (also our Club Honorary Secretary) who has his team of Covid 19 compliance officers working with him and progressing our return to some sort of normality.

I am delighted to welcome former player and two time club Captain, Enda Bohan on board as our new Chairman of Rugby, along with new Junior Vice President Mick Dawson (for the second time) and new Club Trustee Oisin O’Buchalla. Enda along with Mick & Oisin who need no introduction are lifelong Lansdowne men and are very reassuring and capable appointments  during these strange times and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to vital areas of the club.

I am also very pleased to welcome Jack Dwan back as senior captain for a second term as I know Jack and the squad feel they have some unfinished business from last season’s abrupt end. It is a measure of the man that his fellow players voted him back in as Captain again this year and I am extremely proud to have Jack back as Lansdowne FC Club Captain for my year as president.

No more than our members we are blessed to have great staff in Lansdowne, and I look forward to working more closely with Michael Diskin & Elayne Power in continuing to keep our club as successful off the pitch as we have been on it in recent years. Louis Preston is working away doing ongoing maintenance around the club house and I am sure along with myself we are all hoping to see our bar manager Dave Mangan very soon.

To our sponsors, we continue to be extremely grateful for your support, put simply we could not operate without your generous and continued support. I urge all members to support our sponsors and invest in them as they have invested in us.

I must also pay tribute to all of our club executive and sub committees, registration & fixture secretaries who along with our club Referees, Medical Staff, Matchday Doctors, Physios, S&C Coaches, Match day Stewards ensure our club is run as well as it can be.

Our club’s great location and our great facilities are prized assets, but our greatest assets are our people, our members, you! We have great people involved in our club from the mini & youths  right through to the 20s and seniors right down to the J3’s. These difficult times have made us all realise how much we rely on rugby as an outlet in our day to day lives and how we miss our people and our club. I urge you to look out for your fellow members and support the club as much as you can especially through what is sure to be a very different season ahead. To those of you and there are many who helped me bed in and feel at home in Lansdowne FC and guided me along the way to the lofty heights as President of this great club, I thank you. I wish all of our teams. members and sponsors well for the upcoming season I look forward to welcoming everyone to Lansdowne FC hopefully in the very near future. #LFCTID

Yours in rugby,

Colin Goode

Lansdowne FC

President 2020/21

Jack Dwan

Captain of Lansdowne FC 2019-20

I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all visitors and members of Lansdowne FC. It is a huge honour to return from a year studying in London as club captain for the 2019/2020 season. I have been fortunate enough to play under some exceptional leaders during my first two years with the club, most notably our captains from the previous two seasons, Eamonn Mills and Ian Prendiville. Their determination on and off the field was an example for us all and I hope to lead the club in a similar manner.

There have been a number of changes to the coaching set up this year as we push to win back the AIL from last year’s deserved winners, Cork Con. Mike Ruddock and Mark McHugh return as 1st XV coaches and we are fortunate to have their experience guiding us through the season. Niamh Connolly has also returned as the squad’s physio after a successful first year with the club. Will Matthews has moved on as J1 coach and he is replaced by Charlie Doel. Charlie will bring new ideas and we are looking forward to working with him. Dave Tighe and Damien O’Sullivan, our strength and conditioning coach and nutritionist, have moved on after a number of successful years with the club and I would like to wish them all the best with their future endeavors. They are replaced by Dan Moore. I have had the pleasure of working with Dan in the past as he was my S&C coach when I was in school and so I know he will bring a new and professional format to the S&C programme, from which we have seen plenty throughout our preseason training! We are strongly supported again by Steve Rooney, Colin Goode and Paddy Gore.

We are given the best possible framework of coaches and backroom staff within Lansdowne to fulfill our potential on the pitch and I know everyone will work tirelessly this coming season to ensure we achieve this.

My club journey began in UCD RFC where I played both U20 and AIL rugby for 3 seasons. After 3 years it was time for a change and having suffered at the hands of Lansdowne on numerous occasions over the previous years, they were an obvious choice both in terms of the quality of rugby played and the atmosphere that surrounds the club. My career with Lansdowne had a fairytale beginning as we went on to complete the provincial and national double in what was a very successful and enjoyable season for me personally. I am now heading into my third season with the club and am looking forward to working with our excellent coaches, both old and new, as well as my teammates, again both old and new.

Lansdowne members have been busy away from the club over the summer. Congrats to last year’s AIL top try scorer Peter Sullivan who has earned trials with Connacht. Similar to Peter, David O’Connor is heading up to Ulster to play alongside his brother Alan after a successful first year with the club. They will be sorely missed but I’m sure they will be excellent representatives for Lansdowne on the provincial stage. Lansdowne once again had a strong contingent involved with the Ireland 7s squad who had a very successful year. The 7s secured their spot on the world series next year having won the qualification tournament in Hong Kong. Adam Leavy, Foster Horan, John O’Donnell, Ian Fitzpatrick and the returning Mark Roche were instrumental in achieving this. This qualification was followed by excellent performances in the London and Paris world series events. I got to see the lads first hand at the London event and it’s fair to say they have well and truly earned their spot on the series for next year. Congrats also to Jack O’Sullivan who is Lansdowne’s latest addition to the 7s squad. I wish all the lads as well as the rest of the squad all the best for next year’s debut on the world series. Outside of the professional game, I would like to congratulate Eamonn Mills, Dan McEvoy, Ian Prendiville and Jack O’Sullivan who represented the Ireland Clubs side last season.

There have been a number of notable departures from last year’s senior squad. Scott Deasy, Ian Prendiville and Aaron Conneely allplayed their final games for the club whilst on tour to the USA. The setting of Traver’s island, home to the New York Athletic Club, was a very fitting send off for the lads who have all given so much to the club. Willie Earle is another man who has unfortunately hung up his boots. Willie epitomised everything that we as a club stand for. I would like to wish my best to the four lads and everyone else who has moved on from the club, you will all be sorely missed. Whilst a number of our senior players have moved on, we are excited to welcome several players who have joined the club as well as a number of last year’s U20s squad who now make the step up to the senior squad.

Their presence and enthusiasm has been felt throughout our preseason training and I’m sure they will continue to have an impact as we move through the season.

At the end of last season, the club set off on tour to the USA after a huge amount of work went in throughout the year organizing the logistics of the tour and organizing various fundraising activities, including a blind date for Lansdowne’s most eligible bachelors. A massive thanks to everyone who lent a hand in organizing a truly memorable trip and in particular to Kieran Mulligan. Kieran put in a huge amount of work during his year as president and the tour was a fitting send off for him. The mix of rugby and social activities created a strong bond throughout the group of players and management which will be carried forward to this coming season. A month away from each other was needed, after a very enjoyable but very long eleven days, prior to beginning preseason and spending the next eleven months together!

Many memories were created which will be fondly looked back on over the coming season and in the future beyond that.

On behalf of the players I would like to thank our sponsors for their continued support without which we would not be able to compete at the highest level. I would also like to extend my best wishes to our president for this year, Derry Shaw, and assure him that we will do our best on the pitch to make his year a memorable one.

Finally, I wish the best of luck to all who pull on the Lansdowne jersey, from our minis up to the senior team. Thank you to everyone involved with Lansdowne FC and I look forward to seeing you supporting all of our teams.

Jack Dwan

Captain 2019/20

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