I would like to warmly welcome everyone to College Park, ‘Home of Trinity Rugby’. I am deeply honoured to Captain D.U.F.C. for the 2020/21 season.
As last year’s season was abruptly ended due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are all eager for the next season to kick off so we can get back out on to College Park. The excitement brewing in the “Pav” before the game, parents and supporters wearing D.U.F.C. bobble hats, and a competitive game of rugby is something we have all longed for during these strange times.
With the nature of a University club, a new season means fresh faces coming in to 1st year, coupled with the loss of some club veterans, as players move on with their life and rugby career. We will never forget the service of players such as: past Colours winning Captain Colm Hogan; James “Jesus” Fennelly who slotted the drop goal to give us our first ever away victory to Lansdowne last season; and many other individuals who have been true servants to the club. These players move on from D.U.F.C. leaving a legacy for current players and incoming players to follow.
This is our fifth successive season in Division 1A of the AIL since we were promoted back in 2016. Although the players may represent the Club when they go out to play in the D.U.F.C. jersey, it is my firm belief that the prolonged success of the club is down to key staff who work passionately for the Club year on year. Notable mentions include Director of Rugby Tony Smeeth, Forwards Coach Hugh Mcguire, S&C coach Ian Hirst, Club Administrator Kay Bowen and Chair of the Club Board John Boyd. These individuals are the pillars of the Club and we simply would not function as a club without them. I would also like to welcome this year’s incoming Club president, John Sexton, who I look forward to working with, and thank Alan Rogan for his service as Club president last season.
A club is not defined by one team and success cannot be measured only by the 1st XV’s achievements. Last season our U20’s side, led by Jody Booth, had yet another dominant season in the Premier 1 league, and were on track for another shot at the All-Ireland U20s title for the third year in a row. I am looking forward to these young men progressing into the senior squad this season and challenging for spots in the senior team. I would also like express my gratitude to all the players involved with the J1 team and in particular their coach Johnny Butler. Without their dedication and drive in pushing players on the senior squad in training, the 1st team would not be nearly as competitive. I would also like to congratulate our Women’s team on successfully competing in their first season in Leinster Division 2 captained by Genevieve Ruesch. I have no doubt this years elected captain, Honor MacNamara, will lead the Women’s team to another prosperous season in 2020/21. The numbers playing for Trinity overall grew once more and you would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated, enthusiastic group of players anywhere. I am sure the coming season will be a successful and enjoyable one for all involved with Trinity Rugby.
During this time of such great uncertainty of what lies ahead for sport with the Covid-19 pandemic, I believe it can be viewed as an opportunity for DUFC to show how sport can play an important role in establishing a sense of community and culture between a cohort of people. We as a team, have accepted the fact that the road ahead for our season may change and will constantly be evolving, but our commitment and team culture will persist throughout the season. Our goals therefore for this season have to be to demand everything from one another and to come together as one team, as one club, as one family to battle harder than anyone else.
Thank you to everyone involved for your continued support of D.U.F.C. and I look forward to seeing you out in force supporting all of our teams.
Yours in Rugby,
D.U.F.C. Club Captain 2020/21