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President's Note

16 April 2024


L to R: Sean Coughlan, Peter Quirke, James Moriarty and Stephen Judge (Captain) after Sundays Metro Cup semi final win

Hello Everyone,


One last time with feeling!

While we have two huge finals coming up – Friday night lights with the Men’s J1s versus Clontarf in Old Belvedere this Friday at 7:30pm, and the Men’s J2s in the Winters Cup final (still a number of weeks away) I’ll get off at this stop!


Any communication from next Friday’s match for the J1s deserves to come from the management and coaching team of Aidan & Joe. The work these guys have done to get us to a Metro Final is extraordinary, and off the back of last year, a season that saw us fail to field teams consistently at this level. I’d also encourage all our successful coaching and management teams to contribute a few words to our weekly update as we close in on a long season.


L to R: Paul Clinch, Michael Moriarty Jr, Harvey Clinch, and Michael Moriarty Snr last weekend

Huge recognition must go to the U20s – players most importantly but also Mark McG, PG and Mark O’Brien. An unbeaten run in their league and a one score loss last weekend to a strong Seapoint side. It’s scant consolation but the work they have done this year is as important to the club than any silverware – this age group are the bridge into the club that will form the basis of our senior squads for years to come. These guys will know victory and plenty of it so well done to all involved.

The Women’s season also wrapped up last week with a loss to Railway Union. Again this is a group of players, coaches and management trying to balance their own success by having the largest representation of any club, ever, on the International squad – while fielding a team to compete in a tough league. Sincere congratulations to you all including Jen, Amy, John, Ian, Enya, Laura, Shane, Stan and consultation from Goose! And who could forget the work Dave Brennan does week in and week out for them.


Women's 1st team after the final match of the season against Railway Union

And so to our Men’s 1st XV. We did set out this season with promotion in mind. How could we not? This group of guys had managed that feat two years on the bounce and they came a lot closer than our mid-table finish suggests.


Captain Brian Colclough gives his teammates a pep talk during their final match of the season against UCC

We beat all the big guns at least once and we were the only side to beat St Mary's – this is not an average performance or a reasonably satisfying season. This is progress in the big leagues against vastly experienced sides who won’t be in a rush to meet us again.


One of the roles of the President is attending the annual dinners of the other Leinster clubs – it can almost kill you. However, an upside from this is that you get to hear back from other club representatives in a casual setting – and possibly hear more than you should as you ply them with booze!


The admiration and respect Rock has amongst the Presidents of the Senior clubs that we have played is real. It is both true respect for a group of players who have competed at this level when only 3 seasons ago we were 3 leagues down, but it is also tinged with a bit of fear and concern. They know that once we are back and build towards another campaign with the talent we have married to the hardened experience we are a very tricky prospect. We have work to do, no doubt, but we have the motivation and ambition to do it. We are very nearly there.


My own heartfelt thanks to the coaches, management and support crew – Blanes, Stan, Mick, John, Conno, Mark, Sam and Tristan. You guys put in so much work and deserve a huge amount of gratitude from the club. To the players – a special bunch of guys. What a pleasure it has been and what entertainment you gave us all. I had lost my love for this sport up to taking on my role – you guys changed that. Thank you.

To Conor and Molly and all the Exec who keep the show on the road – thank God for you guys!

To Ray McMahon – the very best of luck for next season, you’ll enjoy it.

Over and out!

Paul


Paul Flavin

President 2023-24

Blackrock College RFC



 


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