With these very strange times upon us, I hope you are all well and coping with working from home or in lockdown.
As the rugby season ended abruptly due to this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, if anyone out there needs help or would just like to talk, please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07770 233089. The rugby family are here to help each other, so do not hesitate to get in touch if I can help!
Hereford RFC is a local amateur club consisting of two senior teams, our very successful Colts set up, and our many successful junior age groups.
I have put together some thoughts on the season with contributions from our Senior Captain and Coaches; Sean (Lynnie) and Jersey, who both, after three years with the Club, are moving in other directions but more about that later. Here, I plan to cover the season, the flood damage and what progress we have made.
The basic stats for this season compared with last season are as follows:
To March 2020
|League Points||61 (9 try bonus points)||69 (10 try bonus points. 7 losing bonus points)
– March 2020
Unfortunately, due to the bad weather and flooding, the Development Squad (2nd XV) only played three matches at home this season. However, the boys often rallied together and played some good away fixtures. These included good spirited battles with local rivals Greyhound RFC, trips further afield to Stourbridge RFC, Halesonians RFC and other bus trips around the county.
A highlight was a Friday night trip to play under the floodlights at the famous Sardis Road Stadium in Wales. Back then Wyeside was flooded and we were searching for fixtures anywhere we could get them. There was a healthy number of development squad players who travelled to play against Senghenydd RFC on the Friday evening before the World Cup final. We won’t mention what happened on the Saturday… The effort the boys made, on that Friday evening, to find and compete in a game of rugby summed up their efforts in what was a hard and frustrating season for the squad.
Forty players represented the development squad during the season. Well done to all of them, hopefully this season we get to play a lot more games at home!
Sadly, this is the only information I could get hold of. If anyone out there can let me have more detail, please feel free to send it to me at the email address above.
Reports from Coaches & Captains
I have been sent the following statements to include. Many thanks to everybody who has contributed.
Head Coach – Sean Lynn
It saddens me to say goodbye to a great club – Hereford RFC. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with you all.
A big thank you firstly, must go to the players. You have all been great to work with and see you develop over the three years. I know the club will be a great place for next year. I hope that the club will see the return of Smiler, Connor Sparrow, Lennon and Boden next year due to work commitments and injuries.
Secondly, I would like to say a big thank you to the committee. The endless effort you all put in to make sure Hereford RFC is always in a better place and the resilience you have showed during tough times the flooding and this ongoing pandemic. You have showed great support to myself and Jersey throughout.
Hereford RFC will always have a special place with me.
I can assure you all that if I have a free weekend, I will come down to the Wyeside and watch the boys play. Guaranteed I will see familiar faces, Richie Preece putting his boots on one last time (Great bloke), Rob Davies and Frank travelling the country supporting the boys (Thank you both – I loved working with you), Martin Hurcomb (Clearing up and helping out wherever he can) and Slim – filling up the water bottles and clearing out the changing rooms. Then going into the busy clubhouse and seeing Ivan Powell talking about back in my day…….
Thank you so much for these fond memories!
Lastly, I would really like to say a HUGE thank you to a great friend of mine who is also sadly coming away from the coaching role at Wyeside – Luke Fisher. He got me down the club to help out with a few bits in the coaching set up and then somehow, I end up being Head Coach!!!! The few players that captured my eye straight away was Tom Ewins, LJ, Hutch and Ewan Duncan. You all epitomize what Hereford and local rugby stand for. You all are great role models for the amazing Mini and Junior section at the club.
Never forget your Motto – Saturdays are for the boys!!!!
Captain Tom Ewins’ Season Report
This season just gone has definitely been one of the most eventful our club has had for the past 10 years. We have seen our fair share of ups and downs, having to overcome obstacles such as flooding, a change in the coaching structure and now we are faced with this pandemic. The best thing I could say as a team and a club is that everyone has fronted up. Whether this be on the pitch or off the pitch. Players and members have all gone above and beyond to keep our club running and to keep the free flowing rugby we all love to play and watch at a high standard.
We had a very good start to the season, everyone was on top of their game, people were pushing for positions and this was shown in our string of results we managed to achieve. Our home record was unbeaten until our last game against Whitchurch, which was a home game but had to be played at Ledbury due to our pitch not being playable (So we won’t count that).
I believe this year the team has managed to gel together a lot more. We have been building a young, strong and fit team for the last couple of years and this year we really showed what we can achieve.
The highlight of the season was beating current league leaders at the time Dudley Kingswinford RFC at home. The game was a tough one and every single person involved gave 120% meaning we came out with an 11-7 victory. Not only was the win brilliant, but the supporters were incredible. This year the supporters have been some of the loudest from the stand I’ve heard in a long time. We will try to replicate the standard of rugby for the season ahead to give them even more incentive to come and watch.
Unfortunately; just before Christmas we had the news that Head Coach Sean Lynn was leaving us at the end of the season due to a promotion at work. We all wish him success and the best in his endeavours. He has been brilliant for Hereford Rugby Club bringing a lot of knowledge and drive to the players, he will be sorely missed. With the news, Alun Richards stepped up to the mark alongside Luke Fisher. Alun immediately made a great impression on the team and has been great for the players with a coaching style similar to Sean Lynn.
With repeated games being postponed and cancelled due to the flooding we have had this year, training and game time has been difficult to come across, but the lads have dug deep and we have still managed to put on some great performances against good opposition. Some players have really stepped up this year, including Josh Bell who has been the backbone of many great performances. His determination to get over the game line has given us the front foot on many occasions and his defensive displays have been equally as fantastic.
Ewan Duncan has also played a massive role in the high standard of rugby we have been playing. He has been somewhat of a brick wall allowing no-one to get past him no matter the size and has really stepped up in getting the team going before and during games. These are just two individuals I could name, there a plenty of people I could pick out as everyone has had a positive impact on the season and everyone has bought their own intensity given us an edge when going into games.
It is a shame that the season has been cut short as I believe that with the weather getting better and more game time we could of been really pushing for one of the top spots in the league. All we can do now is look forward to next season. I think with the players we have and the passion for rugby it will definitely be a season to remember, all for the right reasons. Truly I am proud to be part of such a great club and community and this year has shown just why that club spirit cannot be taken for granted.
It is a pleasure to captain a bunch of such talented individuals. All I can say is watch this space for next season.
COLTS, YOUTH AND JUNIOR SECTION
I would like to thank all of our parents for their support over the season and for helping with their child’s age group either as coach, manager or a volunteer.
The colts and the youth and junior section are the future of our rugby club, hopefully for generations to come. The majority of the current senior players have come through this route and many former players are now bringing their own children to play. We plan, and always planned, to operate as one club so we will be looking to make sure this is the case going into 20/21. This will involve being open and honest with each other and finding out our SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Reports on the season’s highs and lows have been requested and are included below:
Waiting for the information.
Waiting for the information.
SPONSORSHIP, FUNDRAISING AND EVENTS
I would like to thank all of our sponsors, whether individuals or companies, as a club like Hereford RFC would not be able to function as we do without their support. All of the money raised from sponsorship goes straight back into the club and the sponsors and their guests always seem to have a good time when they attend a game!
Hereford Pension, Investment & Mortgage Centre, Hereford RFC Golf, Tudors Building Supplies, Ivan Powell, Cotswold Hereford, Spencer Goodall, Quickskip, Greg Price, UHL, Abacus Hereford, Mrs Murphy, Core Hygiene, Gerry Doverman Limited, Julia James, Golden Fleece, Hereford Times, Abacus Associates, Hereford Tyres, Rees Insurance, Boss, Hereford Glass, ABC Printers, Gammonds Transport, Lichfield Vaults, Whittal Seeds, Dinedor Cross Garage, Highground Maintenance, M Powell Building Services, Robin Davies, Red Lion Inn, Dr R Laird, Bolts of Hereford, Window Wise, Jon Owen
Please accept my apologies if I have missed anybody from the list.
Steelrock Technologies Ltd
If you would like to support the club and become a member at the same time, please think about joining the Mrs Murphy group. You will be invited to two sponsored games per season, and you will be supporting the coaching and many other costs associated with the playing side of the club. If you are interested in becoming part of this group, please contact Richard Harris (07977049222) or myself (07770233089) for more information.
If anyone has any ideas to help raise money for the club, would like to help with the events we already run, or if you can think of any new ideas for fund raising, through sponsorship or any other form, please let me know via email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
200 club has gone well this season, but not all tickets were sold. We need a big push for next season, especially as you can win such great prizes! This season’s prize winners are listed on the Club website. If you’d like to buy a ticket for next season, then please contact Jo Robinson on 07964 185598, or myself on the number above.
The Queen of Hearts draw has been going well and the jackpot has now been won three times! When the season starts again the jackpot will start at £600.
99% of all ticket sales are made on a Saturday, so we would very much like someone to sell tickets on a Sunday; I am sure this jackpot would double. Please contact me if you are able to help.
Martha Summerfield very kindly organised a Club Christmas Dinner for us at the Shire Hall in December. A very good night was had by all who attended, with a few sore heads in the morning.
Hopefully this year we can sell a few more tables, but will have to wait for confirmation on dates (and social distancing requirements) before we can start planning.
Friday Night Quizzes were started this season but, unfortunately, weren’t supported by all sections of the club! We will continue with this next season, when allowed, and hope for better support as these are good fun and a good way to catch up, as well as support the club.
Where do I start?!
With such a wet autumn and winter – the rain started in October and continued until February. The Club was tested in a big way, from losing fixtures completely, having to change fixtures to the away venues, finding alternative training facilities, and losing all revenue from the kitchen and bar for several months.
We are very grateful to everyone involved in helping to sort these issues as they arose.
Then the worst happened for the club, more rain! In mid-February the River Wye rose to 6.4 metres and entered the clubhouse, leaving considerable damage throughout. I’ve never seen so much water at Wyeside, almost to the cross bars on the posts!
There was a lot of media coverage; myself and Ivan were interviewed by TV, radio and the press, which garnered us a lot of support. We set up a GoFundMe page to help with the repairs and refurbishment of the clubhouse. The page raised over £16,000 through many generous donations, small and large, which came from six different countries and from the rugby family throughout the country! We have also had very generous donations from Hereford City Council, Sport England, North Midlands Society and the RFU.
The refurbishment will cost a lot of money and we are still working out the final costs and plans for the club. I’ve included some images below of the floods, the damage and the work being carried out by volunteers right up to the lock down.
As you can tell from these images, there was a lot of structural damage to the club, and the photos only show a small part of it. The next lot of photos are of the progress that’s been made.
As you will see from the above pictures, we have decided to reconfigure the layout of the bar. Andrew Venables has very kindly done some drawings on the ideas for the refurbishment, and we are working with other members to come up with new ideas to help the club run effectively.
We are grateful to so many people for their generous financial donations. To companies who have provided us with materials to use in the repairs and to all of those people who have given us their time and skills to work towards making the club functional again. There are too many of you to list here, but we plan to hold a celebration/thank you event as soon as we can which you will all be welcome to attend.
As soon as we can safely hold a meeting in person, we will publish details of Annual General Meetings for both the Senior and Junior Sections of the Club. We will upload nomination forms for all Committee positions and would welcome nominations for any post within the Club.
We hope to get lots of volunteers willing to stand this season.
Please continue to visit the website for more details as they become available.
This is Hereford RFC’S 150th Anniversary season, and we had intended it to be a big year for celebrations at the club. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to confirm anything just yet, until we get clearance following Covid 19.
Currently, events we hope to hold at the Club, are:
- Senior Players Presentation
- Coaches Nights
- Sports Persons Evening
- President’s Dinner
- North Midlands games at many age levels
- A music event of some sort
We have a number of items kindly donated by people to raise funds for the repairs – including a signed shirt from Nigel Owens, a shirt signed by the whole of the Bristol team, England 7’s shirt, Italian International shirt and many more. If you have any other donations can you please let me know.
If there is any event you would like to add please let us know. We will also need as many volunteers as possible to help put these celebrations in place.
Coaching For 2020/21 and Beyond
Hereford RFC have been lucky to secure the services of Scott Sturdy and Alun Richards. I have included some of their thoughts and plans below, together with some of their playing histories.
My role is diverse and can be divided into the following areas – club development, management, growth, retention/re-engaging players, developing quality of experience through coach/referee/volunteer/medics development, facilities, governance, playing opportunities, player support, influencing external partners/stakeholders and to model the RFU’s core values.
Key Post Registration Development Courses
Rugby Development Officer with 11 years’ experience within the field of Rugby Development
MSC Sports Coaching and Development
BSC (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development
RFU Level 3 Coaching Certificate
RFU Coach Trainer
RFU Level 3 Mentor
You can contact Scott at email@example.com
Level 3 UKCC Rugby Coach
Alun has been a coach / educator at Hartpury College for the last 8 years on the BTEC Rugby programme (Under-18’s). Prior to that, Alun worked as a sports development officer in Merthyr Tydfil.
As an outside half and full-back Alun’s playing history includes some great Welsh clubs, including Swansea, Dunvant, Llandovery, Merthyr Tydfil, Bonymaen and Waunarlwydd.
A message from Alun
Although I worked with the squad for a short period of time last season, I am really looking forward to getting a full season under my belt and helping to develop our game (especially in attack), and helping to develop young players coming through our youth section and Colt squad.
Many thanks, Alun.
Bob “The Dog” Stewart remains in his role keeping a keen eye over our development pathway between seniors and colts, as well as coaching with the Development XV. I feel the addition of two young, keen, coaches to the senior set up puts the club in a strong position moving forward with a good young team into our 150th year.
I am sure I speak on behalf of everyone at HRFC when I extend the warmest of welcomes to both Scott and Alun. Fingers crossed we can all meet at Wyeside soon enough and enjoy watching a game together.
This has been a season of unprecedented challenges for Hereford RFC, but together we are working to overcome them. I have never been prouder of the way that the national and international rugby family has come together to support us in our hour of need.
To them all we are truly grateful.
A huge thanks also to all of our own past and present members/players and supporters who have shown up when needed and helped out in so many different ways.
To all of players across all sections carrying injuries I hope that you have all recovered or are recovering well. If you need any advice on your recovery please send in your questions or phone number and we will pass on to the club physiotherapist.
For all their efforts; I would like to thank all the players of every age group. We hope to see you all again for the 20-21 season.
I must also thank all of the committee and the volunteers who helped us through this season during the fun times and the tough times.
Finally, I would like to extend a special thank you to our members who work in the NHS, emergency services and frontline workers. If it is you, a family member, or a friend, that has been working on the front line during these tough and uncertain times.
We at Hereford Rugby Club thank you for everything you have been doing!