This has been a difficult season on and off the pitch and one to survive, next season I hope we can drive the club forwards and then thrive.
My main goal for as long as I am Chairman is to overcome the impacts of “the missing generation”, the young players that filled the club from 1995-2005 of which I am only the only one in a leadership role. This will be difficult and will require the whole club to pull together.
In areas the club has done well this season, the first XV finished 2nd in the league to secure promotion to Kent 1 despite losing Tom Atterton as captain early, Sam Leese did a great job in stepping up. We also came runners up in the Kent Salver losing in the last few minutes against a top Kent 1 side, heartbreaking but a great performance. The financial side of the club is also healthy and well maintained thanks to the efforts of Messrs Lewis and Cooper. We have some work to do on tightening up payments which we will do from next season.
It was great to see the Old Boys open up their tour to the playing generation for the 50 year tour; a great time was had by all that went. I hope it happens again next year and that we can work it so we can take a playing side as well.
We hosted the Kent finals again for the 2nd time in 5 years and as last time got excellent reviews from Kent RFU.
And now the challenges……
The second XV have struggled all season to get out. The hardest job at the rugby club is the 2nd XV captain, its thankless and grinding, I know as I have sat with Joe Puddifoot and Ed Harrison this season trying to get 15 bodies out every week. I have seen them Whatsapp, text, call, email, twist arms – all the things I have heard they don’t do, THEY DO ! We need more players and this will be our priority No 1 priority as a club – to retain and recruit.
The new 4G Astro has been a source of frustration and distraction this season but we should also remember a huge amount of work the social club has undertaken to get this facility. If you look at it as an impact on one season its been a problem, however if you look at the benefits it will give over next 15 years it will be worth the effort and will be another feather in the cap for Andy Delord and the social club team. The astro will secure great training facilities and also the financial security of the club. Projects of this complexity frequently run late and only using the beauty of hindsight could it have been done quicker.
Events – this has been a quiet season for events. I hope that not just the new committee but others will come up with ideas and drive them through.
We have to get moving as we have seen other clubs decline around us, we must move forwards and the time is to act now… thanks for everyone’s efforts this season.
Updated 11:35 - 15 May 2018 by Richard Bunton
Committee for 2018-19
President – Geoff Boyling
Chairman – Richard Bunton
1st XV Captain – Sam Leese
2nd XV Captain – Joe Puddifoot
Treasurer – Dave Cooper
Fixture Sec – Alex McMeckan
Hon Sec – Tom Atterton
Club Captain – Dave Gerard