Well 2017-18 Season has been mixed fortunes for all of us Paignton Rugby Club both on and off the pitch.
Both our 1st XV and Supers 2’s have cemented their positions in their respective leagues with our 1sts XV leaving it to the last game of the season which I’m sure had us all gnawing at our nails!
For the first time in a couple of years we have been able to field a Colts team –made up mainly of 1st years but managed to get to a Devon Final and the future looks bright for the whole of our youth section with the hard work of Paul Dorothy and Roger Yersin we have upcoming U16s to bolster the Colts and looking at all age groups we have good numbers throughout which no doubt is the reason we had good standings in both cup and festivals for this season. A special mention goes to Olly Sinar and all the coaches within the girls section who now are playing regular fixtures and hopefully we are developing a ladies team for friendlies next season.
Off the pitch we have been blighted by the weather with our secondary pitch not being fit for play since mid-October! This has put an enormous strain on facilities at Queens Park. We had a small silver lining in being able to use Torbay Park (after the minor initial blip) for our U9 and U10 teams which has helped with the over use of Sands Road training area. Our search continues for not only suitable grass playing pitches but all weather facilities for all teams to train and play on.
The season has been devastating with the loss of Club Stalwarts and Friends we’ve had to say final farewells to Ady Jones, Norman Harries, Gil Fox, Dave Hodgetts, Steve Lamswood and very recently Sandy Oliver. Wheels are in motion to remember all by means of memorial games, trophies in their name or benches and floral displays to view and sit in quiet reflection on how they affected all of our lives.
Looking at the season ahead we have a number of changes in the senior coaching set up. Firstly Nick Bodnar relinquishes his post as Director of Rugby to take the honour of becoming the next Club President. Steve Pye will now take on role as Director of Rugby. We also see the departure of Trevor Harris as Head Coach, We really appreciate what Trevor brought to the club with his knowledge of the game and have no doubt in realising he was inspirational in our promotion to West Counties West. Ben Passenger comes in as new Club Head Coach. I know Ben is excited to get started and although he cannot wait for pre-season has already met with Steve Pye to set our stall out for the season ahead.
Off the pitch we plan to make improvements to the Club House, over the summer the subsidence to the cellar side of the build will be made good and the remaining rotted windows to the front elevation will be replaced. Subject to our Finance Director confirming our end of year financials we also plan to replace the bar area floor in September. Back on the pitch we aim to continue with the ongoing investment on pitch maintenance and are looking to improve drainage particularly to the northern end of Queens Park.
Thursday 6th September we have our planned Youth Registration Evening where all new and returning youth players can come and enrol or just see what Paignton Rugby Club can offer. This will leave the following Sunday free to give rugby a try (pun intended) or get back into training.
For our senior players look out for the pre-season start date – we also look forward to welcoming new and previous players to the Cherries.
For social members no doubt our first Saturday fixture will be Saturday 8th September and look forward to welcoming all back to Queens Park.