The season has been another fairly good season. Many could describe it as a work in progress year, but when you look back at the position we were in just two seasons ago it is quite remarkable to see what we have achieved. Off the field there has also been a quite an amazing turnaround at the Club, though there is still things to improve.
The 1st XV ended the season in fifth place in the Swalec Division One East and semi finalists in the Mid District Cup. We were agonisingly short of a Swalec Cup upset in February against Swansea and this fine performance kick started our season when we went on a run of seven unbeaten league games.
When you look back at the season, how the Club managed to put a 1st team on the park never mind a Development XV from the end of October to January is remarkable. I have been involved in the senior set up at the Club now for 15 years and have never experienced an injury crisis like we had during them months. At one stage we counted 24 players unavailable for one weekend and still fulfilled league fixtures for both our 1sts and Development.
Robert Downes, who suffered a horrific off the ball injury in the derby loss at Gilfach earlier in the season, has now matured into a very fine forwards coach and I have no doubt he will coach at the top level in the future. He has played and yet again lead the Club through out the season scoring many tries in the process. His input along with that of the now Welsh Womens head coach Rhys Edwards cannot be under estimated. Edwards now has a good bunch of young backs and they at times this year have been very impressive. RJ Coles has been there to assist both Rob and Rhys during the season. RJ has a vast amount of experience and his fun loving personality has been a big hit around the camp and is another who has a good coaching future ahead of him. Mark Powell has again been a major cog in the set up. His fitness and conditioning during the year and in particular the summer months ensured we were again one of the fittest sides in the league with the stats showing us scoring a lot more than the opposition at the end of games.
The Development XV look as if they will be finishing runners up in the WRU 2nd XV league and also got to the Ivor Williams Cup Semi final this season. We have now finished 3rd and 2nd in this WRU league which consists of Premier and Division One second teams since the league was created just last season. That is a great achievement and shows the strength of the squad that has been created at the Club.
Instrumental in creating this senior squad was Development coach Julian Burnell. He joined the Club in the summer of 2010 and has created a superb player pathway scheme which involves the Youth, Development and first team. At the end of this season the system could be clearly seen to be working with six youth boys featuring for the Development and no fewer than 12 sixteen year olds playing for the Youth. The majority of first team players have played for the Development on more than a few occasions during the season.
Unfortunately for us, Julian departs from us this summer and returns to his home town Club Llantwit Fardre and I thank him for all his efforts and wish him well in his new role. He has been a major asset for us and will be missed. Julian's assistant with the Development this season has again been Garreg Jenkins. Garreg, a very good full back in his time and still played the odd game last season, has become a very good forward thinking coach and is going to play a big part in things next season at the Club.
The Youth XV have been under the guidance of Dean Barnes and Rico Edwards during the season. Dai Woods also played an early part in proceedings and his experience helped the youngster massively. Both Dean and Rhys have worked very hard with a very young group. They may have not had the best season on the stat board, but what they know is that going forward they will have a very successful outfit with two very good coaches who's enthusiasm is second to none.
I would like to thank all the above coaches for their efforts and commitment during the season. I believe that again next season we will have a coaching set up that will be the envy of many.
The enthusiasm of one man towards our Club still amazes me year after year. Freddy Phillips has done every job you can think of at the Club.In fact I don't know what his official title is as he has basically done the lot. This year he has been in the back room staff for the Senior squad but the many other jobs he has done at all levels of the Club has been incredible. A true Clubman and some one I know we could never ever replace. A big thank you goes out to Freddy.
Another huge thank you and tap on the back goes out to Youth team manager Mal O'Sullivan. Mal, in his first year in the role, has been outstanding in creating an excellent spirit amongst a very young squad. He has a lot of enthusiasm and I have no doubt with the support of the coaching team will bring some silverware back to the Club in the not to distant future.
And then there is Mal Davies. Mal started the season as the newly formed rugby officer at the Club and after a few months added the role of team manager to his job description after Mike King stood down. Mike worked tirelessly for the Club for many, many years and was a big favourite of the players and supporters.I again wish to thank Mike for all his support and work towards the Club for more years than I can ever remember. With Mike departing Mal took on a lot of work and has taken so much of the workload off me. He is now running the rugby department very efficiently and we owe him a huge debt for the many hours of unpaid work he puts in weekly. Cheers Mal.
Carys Moggridge the Clubs Physiotherapist has gone outside her remit again this season and has now established herself as a major part of the team at the Club. As has Stuart Rix, the Development XV first aider who has also donned his boots for the cause this season.
Marty Dobbin, is another whos work at the Club is under estimated. He has been the first aid at the Youth again this season and has been there to help in any way not just for the Youth but the whole Club. My sincere thanks to the trio for all their efforts.
My thanks go out to all players that have put on the special green and gold jersey at whatever level this season. We are a special Club and hope you continue to stay and enjoy your time here.
Also on the rugby side of things. A huge thank you to Mervyn Roberts (Goffa). He has been the most consistent trainer in the Club's history over the last 3 seasons!! We cannot remember a session that he has not been first to and last from. He ensures that everything is prepared for training and match days and is a major player in the Clubs rugby team.
One of Goffa's other roles is to make sure the playing field is kept up to a reasonable standard. He has been assisted in this over the last few years by Mike Phillips. Mike is another of them guys who will just about do anything for the Club (I know where Freddy gets it from). This year when copper wiring was pinched from the Clubs floodlights (which in the end cost the club over £2.5k) who was there digging the trenches for replacement cabling?? You got it Mike. Thanks again Mike for your efforts.
Robert Mordaci or Scooby as he is affectionately known also deserves a huge thank you. He is seen a couple of times a week walking around the ground or Clubhouse making sure it is clean and up to scratch and safe for everybody. He is another Green & Gold die hard who we appreciate.
Another one with Green & Gold blood is former Chairman Lynn West. Lynn still attends Mid District RU meetings on our behalf. He is also the Clubs press officer and match day PA announcer and has always been on hand when help is needed. My personal thanks to Lynn for his support of the Club.
Keith Evans, who has now retired from all aspects of refereeing has also been a huge help this season. Keith represents the Club at the Rhondda & East Glamorgan DRU meetings and also helps look after referees at the Club. Our thanks to Keith and hope he enjoys his retirement.
I think everybody at the Club would join with me on congratulating and thanking Maria and Jason Powell on the work they have done as Secretary and Chairman respectively of the Junior section this year. I deal with them a lot and the amount of unseen work they go through people would not believe. Our sincere thanks to them. Jason and Maria head a section of quite outstanding volunteers who all give up their free time through the week to make sure that the children of our Community have a happy and friendly environment to play rugby. There's coaches, referes, first aiders, reps etc and there is so many of you to mention but I wish to thank you all for your efforts.
To the senior cooks Helen and Elisha Hole thank you for your help yet again in the canteen and the numeorous other things you assist with. We appreciate your commitment.
Moving on to off the field. What a year.
Last summer the Club was at a cross roads. Posting their worst accounts for many a year. The management new that changes had to be made and made they were. The result of this will be happily posted at the Clubs forthcoming AGM, hopefully in early June.
One of the changes made was at the bar. The Committee and in particular Grant Blake took over the running of the bar. A bunch of young enthusiastic staff were hired and the Clubs takings have increased drastically. I would like to pay a massive tribute to Grant. When I write of people doing unseen work this man really has done more hours then anyone can imagine. He has been one of the major reasons why the Club is moving forward with a smile on its face again. All our thanks to Grant, I hope you enjoy the cries of the babies as much as the late lock ins!!
Club Chairman Keri Jones, has done more than any Chairman in the WRU this season. He would be busy not just preparing the Club on weekends but cleaning up from the night before when many of us have not even surfaced out of bed. He has brought strong discipline and ethics back to the Club and I for one have really enjoyed working with him this year.
Ian Williams, who has struggled with a few injuries lately has also been a big asset to the Clubs committee this year and we thank him for all his hard work.
On to as I described them at Christmas, Mr and Mrs Beddau RFC. Gareth and Teresa Jenkins. Along with Grant and Keri they would be my Clubman / Woman of the Year if we could vote for anybody outside the rugby spectrum. What they haven't done for this Club this year I don't know. The hours of work that Gareth in particular has missed for Club business alone is not worth thinking about. Teresa is the driving force behind everything we do and I don't think this Committee or Club would want it any other way. As Treasurer Gareth deserves huge praise for not just rescuing but putting this Club back on a solid footing moving forward.
Having worked with these guys every day for numerous years now you realise how well they work and how lucky the Club is to have such passionate people making the decsions. Don't get me wrong we all make mistakes but I can guarantee you that every decision at all times is in the best interests of the Club however difficult to make. It has been a pleasure to be part of such a good working party.
Also behind the scenes Brett Taylor again has worked miracles to get a large figure of sponsorship/ donations in for the Club as has Club President Tony Goold who played a big part in this years Programme sponsorship. All our thanks to you both for all your work.
The Club would not be able to function without these sponsors and our many Vice Presidents and we are indebted to them all. However big the donation we appreciate it and it helps us to continue to encourage and foster the game of rugby football in Beddau and the local community for all ages and gender. A special thanks must again go out to Bob Gay and Edwards Coaches for their continued support. They have been great community partners for many years now and we look forward to continuing that again next season. Also to Bob James of Premier Painting Contractors (South Wales) Ltd, a huge thank you for supporting the Youth XV in their 50th Anniversary season.
Looking ahead to 2012/13. We still dont know what league we will be playing in but we have a plan A and B ready. The majority of experts claim we will be a new Championship side but we will wait and see.
But I'm sure with the strides we have made this season we are going to have a very happy year.
Off the field now with the appointment of Gower Jenkins as Bar Manager we will look to be continuing the work that Grant and Co started and it couldn't be in safer hands. More entertainment is certain.
There will be big news on the planned Club re-development and also a possible new changing facility. Interesting times.
It will probably be my last season at the helm this year along with a few others, but if again elected by the members at the AGM in June I am going to give it one last big shot to ensure the Club is in the best position on and off the field moving forward.
Finally the biggest thank you goes out to the members and supporters of the Club. It is your Club and the way you have supported us this season has been so pleasing, I am so proud to be part of our great Club.