As we enter our 146th season at Lansdowne FC, it is indeed my great privilege & honour to extend a ‘Cead Mile Failte’ to all our members, players, & guests as we commence the 2018 /19 season as the defending All Ireland League Champions (thanks Butch, Prendo et al). This year we are captained by Eamonn Mills and we are again coached by the brilliant Mike Ruddock and his backroom team who are superbly assisted by our Director of Rugby Stephen Rooney and Chairman of Rugby Colin Goode.
The U20’s are the true backbone of the club and I want to take this opportunity to wish our long serving & loyal Head coach Declan Fassbender & his team all the best in the season ahead and best wishes also to Will Matthews, head coach of the J1’s, Adam Griggs Head Coach of the J2’S & J3’S and Ian ‘Beanser’ Hopkins who is our new Director of Junior Rugby.
After 16 years coaching & managing Mini & Youth rugby teams at Lansdowne FC, it’s time for me to ‘hang up my boots’ and welcome our new Chairman of M&Y Brian Moran as well as Owen Lydon & Will Mathews who will serve as Director & Head Coach of M&Y respectively. They regularly have 450 boys & girls (U7 to U17) on the pitch every Sunday so make no mistake about it, this is the future of Lansdowne FC. Thanks must also go to Kieran Walsh, outgoing Chairman of M&Y and I look forward to working with him in his new role as Honorary Secretary.
In addition to the new 4G pitch and LED floodlights, you will notice many improvements around the clubhouse which have been overseen in the ‘off season’ by the House committee under the chairmanship of past president Simon Coyle. Amongst the many changes are the newly installed ‘state of the art’ gym, new furniture & flooring throughout the clubhouse including the Members Bar, Presidents room & Zurich room as well as a new Trophy & Memorabilia cabinet with many more improvements to be implemented during the season ahead.
When it comes to saying ‘Thank You’, there are too many people to mention in a club that depends on so many volunteers but on the business side of the club which is run 365 days a year, I would like to thank Michael Diskin, Elayne Power & Louis Preston together with Dave Mangan and his team in the bar. I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank all our corporate partners and sponsors without whose support this great club would not survive. A special mention to first team player Alan Bennie, Paul Van Cauwelaert, Willie Hawkins & John Dawson for producing the yearbook and not forgetting Michael O’Brien for his unstinting work around the club on all things photography, social media and on our new website where he collaborated with Brian Moran and Guy Fagan.
I would also like to thank the Executive for all their sterling work & support shown to me particularly by my Vice President Derry Shaw and last but not least, I want to say a big thanks to my wife Tash & our children for their unwavering support over the last three years. Finally, I have to say that nothing makes me happier than seeing my own kids ‘tog out’ in the Lansdowne colours every week and as I look forward to the season ahead, I hope that you will join me on the side-lines and/or in the clubhouse afterwards to watch one of the many Senior, U20, Junior, Minis, Youths & Girls rugby matches that will played ‘home & away’ throughout the season ahead.