As we cruise through September, lasts months nervousness of what club rugby would look like this season, following our 18 month layoff due to the global pandemic that is Covid – 19, has given away to great excitement at being back with huge optimism and the realisation that we must take personal responsibility for our actions and behaviour. Hopefully by October, we should be pretty much back to normal at club level. Thankfully changing rooms will be back available to our players and visiting teams and officials from next Monday September 20th but, unfortunately, not in time for our Friday night game tomorrow night v Trinity or any of our weekend fixtures.
Since my update a month ago, a lot has happened and along with the good news came devastating news of the untimely and tragic passing of more of our long time members. Safe to say that I am attending and learning of far too many deaths for my or any of our liking. The support from members with their turnout in numbers at each funeral has been really humbling to see and I know it has given great comfort to the deceased’s family and have been told directly that is the case. Long may we continue to provide that comfort but hopefully not as often as lately! Lansdowne FC is truly a club for Life and beyond and the friendships last a lifetime .We reiterate our sincere condolences to all the families who have lost loved ones over the last few weeks. May they Rest in Peace.
We were delighted to host the Inaugural Leinster Metro Colm O’Shea Cup Final last Saturday between Seapoint and Wicklow. It was great to welcome Colm’s family and wife Deirdre to the club and celebrate Colm’s life and achievements with them. I would like to thank all who attended especially Leinster President John Walsh and Vice President Debbie Carty along with Karl O’Neill, Chair of Leinster Rugby Committee, and Ciaran O’Brien, head of Leinster Domestic Competitions Committee and his colleagues from Leinster as well as Colm’s Lansdowne friends. It was great to hear all talk so fondly of Colm and the words fair and honest were used often by the speakers which reflected so well on how Colm was viewed by all of the clubs he dealt with. Seapoint ran out winners on the day and may thanks also to Bill Duggan and Ian Morgan for their help in organising the event.
I was delighted to catch up and be invited by Bryan O’Neill to attend the 40 year Reunion Lunch of the Golden Oldies USA Tour by some of the former Lansdowne greats and also to the Treasures Golf Day followed by dinner in Lansdowne last week. Both great occasions that I thoroughly enjoyed. These are great occasions with former teammates meeting up reminiscing and still acting as if they were playing, all great men and great fun. It made me think we don’t do enough to encourage older members back and I wish to announce that we will be starting an annual or possibly a twice yearly Friday Lunch beginning later in October which we are going to name “Seasca” (The Irish for 60) and yes you guessed it will be a lunch for the 60s and over with no special event to celebrate but just a chance to come down and catch up with old friends in the club in the Zurich Room for the afternoon. Depending on how it goes and feedback from members will determine how we will proceed with it in the future. Further details will be published shortly.
Unfortunately, our planned tour to Chile has had to be postponed as the risk due to covid regulations still being quite strict over there just made things impossible to organise. Instead, we have put together another tour closer to home and more manageable for the times we are in. The club is delighted to announce we will tour San Sebastian & Biarritz on a 9 day tour departing Saturday May 28th 2022. We will have 2 senior and 2 junior games on the trip and plenty of activities. I am also looking to put together a shorter Alickadoo tour from Thursday to Sunday with a few games of golf included. We will publish full details and costs in the next few weeks, but it is on and confirmed!!
On the field I am delighted to say things have been going very well. All levels are now back from mini to Senior and results for the seniors, Juniors and 20s have been going very well. We have two big games this weekend starting on Friday night at home v Trinity and on Sunday our 20s from last season take on Belvo in Ollie Campbell Park in the McCorry Cup your continued support would be most welcome at these games and any others you can attend.
I think we underestimate the value that our members, players, coaches and all the families place on being part of our great club and how they have missed it. It has been a common theme over the last few weeks. I would like to pay tribute to our club trustees, our executive, our coaches, our players past and present their families and all of our members for creating and maintaining the special club that is Lansdowne FC, it has meant so much to so many people and continues to do so. I am delighted to say that all of our new members and players the class of 2021, have settled into the Lansdowne family very well and long may that continue.
The final two verses of Christina Rossetti’s poem “Let Me Go” capture the sentiment and mood of the last few weeks;
For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone.
It’s all part of the master plan
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick at heart
Go to the friends we know.
Laugh at all the things we used to do
Miss me, but let me go.
Stay safe, stay well and enjoy life!
Club President 2020/22
Moment’s silence for Colm O’Shea and Donal McEvoy before the inaugural Colm O’Shea Cup, Seapoint RFC v Wicklow RFC
Moment’s silence for Donal McEvoy at the 1st XV v St Mary’s Leinster Senior League Match