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The stop-start nature of the rugby season and its ultimate cancellation was a tough blow for everyone involved – players, coaches, fans and those who tirelessly give of their time to ensure the club’s very existence. Ask any of the club’s oldest living members and they will tell you that you’d need to go as far back as WWII for a comparable time of extreme difficulty. Even back then, despite losing players to overseas duties, games still went ahead.

It is testament to the commitment of Colin Goode and his executive that they were determined to keep as much of the show on the road as possible. From the ashes of the triple lockdown, the Lansdowne FC Business Lunch 2021 was salvaged and hosted as a virtual event.

It was a triumph.

A few things, well six actually:

1. Mano Ryan is a great interviewer and gave the virtual event a gravitas that was worth its weight in gold. Lansdowne is fortunate to have someone of Mano’s calibre to step up when asked.

2. The event facilitators, FUEL, provided an excellent set-up. It looked so professional and so world-class.

3. MMPI & Bryan Maloney. The mark of a great sponsor is loyalty and hats off to MMPI for staying the course

4. Our president, Colin Goode, made it clear in his address the importance of the club and how it serves its members and the wider community. Colin spoke to members tuning in from as far away as Australia and the US. An unexpected bonus for those living overseas.

5. Colin mentioned and acknowledged the work done by the business lunch committee. Headed by Ciaran O’Reilly and ably assisted by Michael Ryan, Will Sparks and Gav Lee, in challenging circumstances, they pulled an excellent event together.

6. The icing on the cake – the interviewee, Aengus Kelly, CEO of AerCap. He had a great story to tell. When you consider the capital invested in airline fleets and the role AerCap now plays in that market, Aengus’ insights were perceptive and captivating. His early days with KMPG and his move to GPA, and it was true when he remarked on the 6-hour journey back then from Dublin to Shannon. A different country then.

Fast forward to AerCap’s US$7.6 billion Acquisition of ILFC from struggling AIG, which in itself is an amazing corporate story.

According to Kelly, with 100 million people experiencing flying for the first time every year, there is still tremendous growth and this growth will come from China and non-European / non-US regions. Interestingly, he said China is pretty much back at pre-pandemic flight volumes and there is no doubting the desire of mainland Europe and the US to get back in the skies.

Aengus finished by saying how much he gets from being a coach within the Minis & Youth’s setup at Lansdowne. As he appreciates the importance of teamwork at AerCap, he didn’t forget to namecheck his fellow U10 coaches in recognition of their collective effort.

Here is the recording of the Lansdowne FC Business Lunch 2021

In all likelihood, the business lunch in 2022 will be another sell out in the clubhouse. What we have learned from the Lansdowne FC Business Lunch 2021 is that teamwork is essential, be it in person in the clubhouse or in a virtual environment.

Lansdowne FC Business Lunch 2021

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