It is a great pleasure to welcome all players, supporters, sponsors and visiting teams to Lakelands Park for another fantastic season of Leinster, AIL 1A and Terenure College rugby as a whole.
Firstly, It is the greatest honour to be named Club Captain of Terenure College RFC for the 2022/23 season and I am extremely confident that our squad, coaches & backroom team will do everything possible to do the club proud throughout the season, as we look to build on our J1 league/cup double, the Leinster Senior Cup triumph and AIL runner up finish last time out.
A special mention has to go to my close friend, a brilliant player and outgoing captain, Stephen O’Neill who captained the Club fantastically on and off the pitch the last 2 seasons. I have never met someone that epitomizes the Terenure College RFC values more and he has certainly shown me just how to lead a Terenure College team on and off the field. I am very lucky to have him by my side this season again.
I also would like to congratulate Michael Melia and Colm De Buitleir who have both been appointed Vice Captains for the coming season. Two fantastic players, great friends and inspiring leaders!
I have had an interesting rugby journey since I walked in through the Terenure College Gates many years ago. From playing mini rugby and (multiple positions) with Terenure RFC and Leinster Rugby, onto Manawatu in New Zealand and then settling in Japan with NTT Docomo / Panasonic Wild Knights, I have loved every minute of my career to date. I have however always ended up back at Lakelands! Nothing feels better than putting on a purple, black and white jersey.
It is a very special community club which was epitomized by the amazing season we had last year, falling just short in the AIL final. Winning the AIL Club Scene- Club of the Year Award, and then the Leinster Rugby Club of the Year Award is a testament to everyone associated with Terenure College RFC and the surrounding community. I cannot wait for all of us to collectively get stuck in to the new season, on and off the pitch! Hopefully, we can do you all proud, and go one step further to achieve something that Terenure College RFC has never achieved and win the All-Ireland League top Division. I am in no doubt that we will be there or thereabouts come May 2023.
A special mention to our coaches and wider management team, Sean Skehan, Conor Gildea, Simon Malone, Emmet McMahon, Jack O’Brien, Mark Hamilton, Brian Elliott, Mark Hiney, Paul Barr, Michael Mooney, Ian Morgan, Robbie Carroll, Arthur Fitzpatrick, Paul Haycock, Michael Henry-Hayes, David Durkin, Brian Fitzgerald, Richie McDonald and the incoming Paul Murphy and Garrett Lynch, for the incredible work they put in, to help mould this pool of players into a team worthy of being Division 1A contenders.
Another great Terenure College stalwart, so worthy of mention is the selfless Dr Bill Twomey, who has given so much of his time and support to the teams over the years and often stitching my face in record breaking times, Many many thanks Bill. A huge thank you also to the outgoing legend that is Chris Byrne. Thank you for everything over the years and enjoy the break away from me nagging you for tape every Saturday.
I would also like to extend our deep appreciation to all our sponsors. In particular, our main sponsors Sherry Fitzgerald and to MJ Flood who have come on board for this season. I’m really looking forward to this new partnership together and I know together we can reach great heights. You have all played a significant role in the recent growth and achievements within our club and we are proud to have you as partners of Terenure College Rugby Football Club.
On a personal level I would also like to thank our outgoing President, Marty “The Party” Doyle for his amazing contribution to the Club and squad for the last two seasons. I cannot wait to enjoy even more “Tom and Ginics” in the Club together. I would also like offer my full support to incoming President and friend, Tommy Darcy. I’m really excited to see where we can get to this season together and no better man to help us get there as President.
Winning the Energia AIL this season is our sole focus and to achieve it with players from all four provinces would be truly amazing. The current squad is littered with outstanding talent which was supplemented by some exciting new additions to the squad during the summer. I wish all players, current and new, an injury free, happy and successful season.
Finally, thank you to the supporters. You have followed us around the country in hail, rain or snow and helped us get over the line, many a time in games. Your support cannot be underestimated and is greatly appreciated by all the squad members. I can’t promise that we will win every game this season but I can promise we will try – and hopefully provide some entertaining rugby along the way. I hope we can make each and every one of you proud this coming season. As another season begins, I’ve never been hungrier to go again and go one bit better and make this the best one yet.
Yours in Rugby,
Terenure College RFC Club Captain 2022 / 2023