One of the many innovations that Ricky O Sullivan introduced in his tenure as President was his regular President message. Many people have said to me that they found then to be very informative and a useful method of keeping in touch. So here goes!!
I am incredibly proud to have been elected President of our fabulous Club and hopefully I will do the position proud. I look forward to working with all groups within the club, the player, the coaches, the members, the committees, the Minis, the Underage boys and girls team s as well as the adult men’s and women’s teams. I will also be proud to represent our club in my capacity as your President throughout the province and hopefully further afield.
The founders of our club back almost 140 years ago could hardly have anticipated the position the club finds itself today. The Clubs playing facilities, as well as the huge numbers playing the game proudly in the Bandon Royal Blue jerseys would one thinks bring a smile of satisfaction to their faces. Not to mention the faces of the people who had the vision to relocate the club to his current permanent home at Old Chapel back in 1982. I was lucky enough to have worked with John Doc, Niall O ‘Driscoll. Joe McLaughlin, Tony Neville, Barry O’Farrell, Eoin Keane, Renzie O’Mahony, Peadear O’Mahony on committee back then and saw the effort those guys put in at that time. Whilst important to acknowledge their efforts it is also equally important to recognise that this current committee put in as much effort. Obviously to run a club that is now probably 4 times the size takes huge effort and Chairman Michael O’Mahony and his committee deserve to be complimented on their continuous effort and endeavour on behalf of the Club and its members.
Day one of my Presidency saw us heading to Captieux town outside of Bordeaux for a very enjoyable 4-day rugby trip. 42 tourists travelled, and I’m delighted to be able to report that 42 tourists arrived home safely. Many thanks to Neil Canniffe and Conor Slattery and of course Regis for organising a most successful and enjoyable trip.
This was followed by our annual Golf Classic which I don’t know if you are aware it is one of our major fundraisers. Many thanks to the organising committee of Rodney Price, Jim Riordan, Michael Corcoran, John Collins and Des Riordan. Thanks also to all the teams that participated and people who also sponsored tee boxes. Richard Giles also gave his time feeding everyone most welcome burgers on the 9th Green. Thank you as well to Bandon Golf Club for use of the course and its facilities on the day. Lastly thank you to Finbarr Galvin Motor Dealers for their kind sponsorship and a special thanks to Johnny O’Connor for presenting the prizes on the night. All in all, it was a highly successful and enjoyable day.
The sun is well and truly shinning and rugby holidays are beckoning. 2017-18 Season was an incredibly long season but I’m sure you will all agree the success that we had on the rugby fields of Munster competitions and our All Ireland success made it all worthwhile There are so many people that had an input, and each hopefully have been thanked and their effort recognised over the last couple of months. I would however like to congratulate President Ricky O’Sullivan on a tremendously successful term as our club president. In all my 35 years involved with the club I cannot remember anyone who threw themselves so wholeheartedly body and soul into the job. Yes of course every President does a tremendous job, but I think you will all agree there was something unique about Ricky. His Presidency reminded me somewhat of Ricky on the rugby pitch, full of energy and he could turn up anywhere!! As I said previously if you cut Ricky he would bleed blue, he is so fanatical about Bandon Rugby. On behalf of everyone Ricky Thank you!
We have bid adieu to The Frenchman Regis Sonnes and we wish him all the best in his new position with Toulouse Rugby. We look forward to meeting him sometime on the battlefield of European Rugby. I know that Regis thoroughly enjoyed his time here. He was very good for our club, but I know from speaking with him that his experience of working with Bandon RFC was very good for Regis as well. One of the last things he said to me as I dropped him to the airport was it was very important to understand that the Club was now starting a new chapter. “Turning a new page” was the way he put it.
With that in mind I am delighted to announce that the Club and Bandon Grammar School have again joined forces and have recruited Andre Human from South Africa as the new head coach. Andre has a wealth of experience in coaching at various levels and we look forward to welcoming him to our shores at the start of August just in time for pre-season training. Having spoken with him at length he is looking forward to working with all players and groups within the club. “Turning a new page” so I will leave it to Andre to populate this with his own language. I wish him and new Club Captain Kerry Desmond all the best for the forthcoming year.
Lastly the club has recently launched an ambitious development plan for the grounds and pavilion. It is to be published on the website shortly. It is a very comprehensive plan and compliments must go to its authors Ben Gaffney, Gary McCormick, Anthony Neville and John Fulham. It plans to install new updated flood lights on Pitch 2 and on the current training pitch as well as draining Pitch 2. The All-weather facility will also be upgraded having been damaged in the storm last year. It is also anticipated that the club dressing rooms will be rearranged to make them more user friendly for the ladies’ teams who are growing from strength to strength. Ambitious plans obviously cost substantial monies, but the Club has been lucky enough to gain support from the National Lottery through a grant and the IRFU through a ten-year loan facility. Obviously, there is a fundraising aspect to the plan as well and this will be communicated in due course. All I ask is that you give any request a fair hearing and if you can help in any way it would and will be greatly appreciated.
Finally, all that remains is to wish you all a happy and healthy and safe summer and I looking forward to seeing you all in club next season.
And please remember, this is not my Club, it is not your Club, it is our Club. Working together we can all make it better place for everyone.