Welcome to the New Season

Greetings to all Clontarf members and to your visitors, be they players, coaches, opposition supporters, or just friends. I hope that your Season is filled with excitement and memories of great moments.

Last season, Clontarf pulled the heartstrings of everybody in Leinster with their valiant attempt to win the All Ireland First Division title. To lose in such a cruel fashion was beyond sport and prompted many to question whether such an important contest should be determined in such a manner.

So now for the new reality.

As with your own near-miss last Season, Ireland and Leinster’s most successful season ever is a now just a memory, a line in the record books, and it’s time to start all over again! Whilst being reigning Grand Slam and European Champions is wonderful, every scoreboard in every game starts again at 0-0. For every team, in any Club that did not get due reward for their efforts last year, it is a chance to put the record straight, For those who claimed medals and cups, well now you have to live up to that reputation.

Clontarf’s contribution to Leinster rugby is strong at every level and that is equally true in the administration of the Branch, where your Vice President John Glacken steps into the Branch Representative post vacated by Finbar Crowley, who now chairs the IRFU Management Committee. I wish them both well in their new roles and know that their contribution will be significant. I wish to offer, Jim McIlvenna, your President for this year, a very enjoyable Season. I know that with Bernard Jackman, as your Coaching Co-Ordinator, your senior squad will be a major force in AIL Division 1A. With the multitude of fixtures against Munster clubs it will be a tough task, but you have rarely been found wanting at the hard-end of such games. Leinster Club rugby needs a Division 1 AIL title and I look forward to your results with keen anticipation.

Congratulations to those who put together the Club programme, both content and advertisers. Thank you to every sponsor of rugby connected with your Club. Good luck to every player, captain, coach, manager. You cannot all be winners, but if you can create a good team, you will have served your Club, and the game, very well this year. To every member, get involved. Don’t spectate, support! Get involved with a particular team for the year, bring along a mate, go to every game, home and away. Ask the Rugby Director, coach or captain if you can assist in any way – collecting players, pumping balls before training, or even picking up gear from the launderette, there’s always something to be done.

The message from the Leinster Branch this Season is straightforward, we can do better. From playing at professional level, to administering the game at Club, School, Youth or Mini, we can do better.

Des Lamont