This season we are delighted to return to Division 1A of the AIL after our great success in winning 1B last season. The Club owes a debt of gratitude to last season's senior panel for the way they achieved this at the first attempt. To our Club Captain Brian McGovern and his squad, Senior Coach Jamie Cornett and management team under Paudge McGill, I extend my best wishes for the coming season.
We as a Club are now back where we want to be. It means so much for us to have both a men's team and a women's team participating at the top level of club rugby in this country. While we can and should be proud of this fact we can in no way be complacent. We, all of us, must embark on this most important season with renewed determination and vigor. Onwards and upwards into the future.
To our Directors of Rugby Alan Shirley (Junior Rugby), David Donohue (U20's), Gavin McConnell (Mini's) and Aidan Manahan (Youth's) I wish every success. Also to all our team captains, coaches, physio's and players I would like to say thank you and wish you all a most enjoyable and successful season.
Last season we went through a complete root and branch restructuring of the club's administration. Thanks to Eddie Wigglesworth, who with Pat Crawford was the principal driving force behind this initiative, we now have a clearly defined operational structure. I look forward to continuing this most important project with Eddie and Pat and to its complete roll out by seasons end.
I would like to thank our loyal supporters. Especially those who travel all over Ireland supporting our teams. You have made a great name for yourselves throughout the land and have no doubt given us the edge in a number of close matches. I know this support is deeply appreciated by the players. Much thanks here is due to Joyce Sweeney and Eileen Fanning for shepherding this group throughout the country. I look forward to seeing you all again on the next away trip.
Once again a major thank you is due to all our sponsors and in particular our main sponsor Softco and Jim Coffey and Susan Spence who has always been there for the team and players. Thanks also to Charlie Chawke, Canterbury, Fanagans Funeral Directors, Heineken, Northern Thrust, Paddy Power and Gerry McCormack G-Mack. Our sponsors are the lifeblood of the Club and your continued support is greatly appreciated. I would also like to thank all those who advertise in our year book, take teams in our golf classic, have hoardings, support club events and attend pre-match lunches.
To our Club Chairman John Gilsenan, Secretary Terry Tierney, Treasurer Tommy McGovern, all our Executive Committee members, dedicated Club Administrator Maria Hammond, bar manager Tony McGuinness and groundsman Pat Nash a sincere thank you for all your tireless work.
Finally I would like to thank all our other volunteers. The workers. The unsung heroes. We have well over 100. Team managers, bagmen, physios, committee members, the list goes on. We cannot function without your selfless support. You all make a difference. We are currently Leinster Club of the year. A proud tribute to you our volunteers.
Now that we are back in Division 1A again I look forward to renewing many old friendships and to extending the hospitality of St. Mary's College R.F.C. to all our guests.