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President's Message   28/08/2017

24th August 2017 
 Dear Members,
This weekend sees the kick-off of the 2017/18 season after a summer of hectic activity. We are looking forward to a very successful season for our entire Club and our primary objective is to regain our Division 1A status.  I would like to wish all players, coaches, managers and supporters the best of luck for the season ahead.
In preparation for our quest to return to Division 1A our senior squad has been training hard for the past number of weeks.  The First XV will be captained by Ed Rossiter with Declan Lavery and Karl Miller making up the leadership team. We have assembled an outstanding coaching team led by Triple Crown winning Irish coach Eddie O'Sullivan who will be assisted by Andy Dunne as backs coach and Fergal Walsh as forwards coach. We have worked very hard on recruitment over the summer and I am pleased to report that we have some very exciting additions to the squad.
One very familiar face that will be missing next season from the management team is Eoin Deering. After innumerable years of outstanding service, Eoin has decided to hang up his linesman's flag. He will be sorely missed and I would like to thank Eoin for his immense contribution. Gerry Cruise and Barry O'Carroll in particular are bereft and are on the lookout for a new accomplice.
The first senior match is against Lansdowne on Saturday next the 26th in Ballycorus at 3pm in the Leinster League and hopefully you can come along to support the team. We have also assembled a very strong Under 20s squad which includes a number of Leinster U20 players. The team will be captained by Kevin Dolan and coached by Andy Kenny and Ian Smith and we expect that a number of the squad will be challenging for places in the senior squad.  The U20s fixture schedule has yet to be finalised and we will advise you of the fixtures as soon as we have them. Again, I would ask all Club members to support our U20s team and make a special effort to welcome all our new members to our Club.
Our Women's section will be looking to maintain its position as the leading club in the country and build on the wonderful achievement of having 7 players represent Ireland in the Women's World Cup. I am very pleased to welcome Josh Brown who will be coaching our Women's senior squad next season. The Women's section has asked me to highlight the need for additional coaches for this season and anyone with the appropriate coaching skills who is interested in getting involved should contact Sheena Moore.
Our Women's team has the privilege of starting the season for us this evening (Thursday) when we take on Montpellier on at 8pm. Montpellier are one of the leading French teams and will present a formidable challenge for our Women's team.
Training for Junior rugby will be starting in earnest next week. We will be looking to build on the success of last season and we have assembled a very strong coaching and management structure. We are delighted to have secured the involvement of Michael Conway, Ronan Sharkey, Dec Egan, Paul Nugent, Paul Crosbie and Des Trenier, amongst others, to help run Junior rugby this season. New members are particularly welcome, so please encourage any likely candidates to join up.
Youths' rugby will also look to build on last year's great progress under Bobby O'Brien's leadership. It is our intention to field both U14 and U15 teams this year and I wish Bobby every success in this very important aspect of club development.
Last, but certainly not least, on the playing side, is our Mini Rugby set up under Kevin O'Brien's chairmanship. We welcome all new members to out Minis club, especially the new group of Under 6s who will be playing their first year with Old Belvedere.As you can see, our club has multiple strands and we are very fortunate to have an amazing group of volunteers who tie all these strands together. However, we can always do with a few more,If you are interested in participating, I am certain that we can find a role for you. In the meantime your ongoing support for our teams (and our bar) is always very welcome and greatly appreciated.
On the International front, the proud tradition of the Club being represented at International level continued, with seven members of our Women's team lining out for Ireland in the World Cup  and the   great achievement by Jack Conan and Rory O'Loughlin who both represented Ireland on the summer tour to Japan.
Off the field, we have had some notable success over the summer. In particular, I would like to congratulate our Leinster Brach rep Tony O'Beirne who serves on the Committee of the IRFU and was recently appointed to the very prestigious position of Chair of the National Professional Game Board.
I look forward to seeing you in the club in the weeks and months ahead and I hope you will support all our teams enthusiastically.Up Belvo!

Best wishes, 
James McCarthy
President




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