I am greatly honoured to be the D.U.F.C. Club Captain for the 2019/20 season, following on the footsteps of so many illustrious past captains going back to the Club’s Foundation in 1854.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the USA Tour Committee, the parents, players and particularly our sponsors, tour patrons and programme advertisers for their contribution without whose support and generosity the recent pre-season tour of the USA, would not have been possible. It was a truly unique and memorable tour, one that all participants will remember for a long time. The facilities and hospitality we enjoyed were second to none and the comradeship on and off the pitch amongst the touring party will serve us well for the season ahead.
Last season was one of the most successful in the Club’s history with the 1st XV qualifying for the AIL Division 1A playoffs, the top tier of Irish Club rugby, for the first time ever. We also won the 67th Annual Colours match in the UCD Bowl for the first time and were beaten finalists in the Leinster Senior Cup. Several of our players also represented Ireland and Leinster successfully at various levels throughout the season.
An undoubtedly successful season, made possible by the contributions of many people in Trinity. I must first acknowledge Colm Hogan, last season’s Club Captain who was at the forefront of all the hard work and effort that enabled the Club to perform to its highest ever standards under the guidance of our Director of Rugby, Tony Smeeth and his coaching team. Thankfully for us, Colm will be togging out in the white jersey again this year, an enormous boost for the Club.
Thanks also to Aidan Walsh our Club President of 2018/2019, a true Trinity rugby fanatic and a great presence in the Club. I look forward to working with Alan Rogan, this year’s Club President as we strive to build on the rapid improvements made in recent years by this great club under the stewardship of John Boyd.
The success of last season was not limited to just the 1stXV by any means. The U20’s side, led by James Moriarty, retained the title as All Ireland Cup Champions, Trinity being the first club to do so. The U20’s side epitomised the strength in depth of the Trinity Academy as they secured a comprehensive victory against U.C.C. in the final despite the unavailability of many players due to their involvement with both the Seniors’ semi final play-off game and the Ireland U20’s team. This team’s success was accompanied by individual successes, with five D.U.F.C players representing Ireland U20s national team in their Grand Slam 6 Nations victory and their hugely entertaining World Cup run. The 2nd XV maintained their league status and the J3’s also won their Colours fixture in College Park in unforgiving conditions in April
The D.U.F.C Women’s XV, captained by Jane Leahy achieved promotion to Division 2 of the Leinster League with Linda Djougang earning a call-up to the Irish Senior squad for the Six Nations after some superb performances. Although no silverware was obtained last season, the women’s team did manage to get to their League and Cup finals which is a massively encouraging sign for this coming season.
This season is a new one and the success of last year is behind us. As a group we face new challenges and we have different goals to other years. The only way to achieve our desired outcome is to do what we have done before even better, work tirelessly in a culture driven by togetherness and hunger. I have no doubt the coming season will be a memorable one, hopefully filled with many exciting matches played both in College Park and across Ireland. We will do everything in our power to be on the right side of each result, all the while playing our own brand of rugby – hard-nosed and fast.
I must also thank everyone involved in the Club, including the parents, for their continued support, especially in relation to the club’s fundraising events for our USA Tour. The squad having completed a successful pre-season training camp and practice matches are looking forward to the coming season with excitement levels rapidly growing.
I can’t wait for the AIL season to get underway as we take on UCC on the 5th October in College Park. I hope to see you all out in force cheering on the team during the season, wearing the unmistakable D.U.F.C bobble hats!
D.U.F.C. Club Captain 2019/2020