I would like to extend to everyone my warmest welcome to College Park, the home of the oldest rugby club in the World. I am honoured to captain D.U.F.C. for the 2017/18 season.
Not enough gratitude can be given to our outgoing captain Brian Slater, his leadership allowed the squad to perform to their best. The 2016/17 campaign was a first for the club, competing in Ireland’s top division. There were highs and lows, but the squad provided entertainment throughout the season. The character of the team shone through on the last day of the season with relegation looming. In typical Trinity style, Division 1A status was confirmed in the final seconds of the game and to quote Tony Smeeth “You won’t see much better tries than that in College Park”.
Establishing the club as a Division 1A team was an entire squad effort coupled with the outstanding contribution of the coaches, medical team, S & C staff and parents. I would like to thank the Administration team for their endless amount of work, and to acknowledge the various Committees, Trustees and Sponsors for their continued support. To Roger Brownlee, our outgoing president; DUFC thanks you for the tremendous work you have done over the last year. I look forward to working with the 2017/18 president Colin Byrne in leading this famous club to another successful season.
D.U.F.C.’s first season in Division 1A was a huge learning curve for everyone involved, this season is about creating a legacy to be proud of. The main point that the players will take from last year is ‘when you’re at the top of your game, you must change it’. Tony Smeeth and Hugh Maguire have enhanced the Trinity style of rugby that we all love to play and watch. The bulk of this squad has proven that we can compete at the highest level and displayed the talent required, it is now time to fulfil this potential and adhere to the high standards we have set ourselves for this season. The results will follow if we truly get the best out of each other.
This season’s squad has been bolstered by players from the Metro 2 winning J1 team and graduating U20s that were very unfortunate to not make the all-Ireland final. These groups of players are now looking to write their own names in the D.U.F.C. history books. The current squad would never have been in the position to compete in the top league without the hard work of the departing players like Tom Ryan, Eric O’Sullivan, Andy Keating, Pierce Dargan, Tim Maupin and Raef Tyrell who have given so much to DUFC.
Trinity Rugby has never been measured solely on the Senior XVs performances. The number of playing members is increasing annually. Last season our U20s played some exceptional rugby, they are the future of the club. The Women’s team fielded a 1st and 2nd XV and narrowly missed out on Leinster Division 4 glory, losing in the final. This was their first year returning to the Leinster league level, there is no doubt with their hard work and improving recruitment they can win the division this year.
Every great team is built on friendship and dedication, these foundations are the building blocks to the overall goal of the 2017/18 campaign. This squad of players aim to create a selfless culture based on hard work and togetherness, a group of friends willing to work harder than everyone else.
This incredible club has given so much to me over the last 4 years and has helped mould me into the person I am today. I wish to repay this by giving 100% to everything I do, on and off the pitch. My personal goal is to get the best out of my players and allow them to perform to the best of their ability.
Excitement is always one thing that is guaranteed with Trinity Rugby. I know this season we will provide this through our unique running rugby. The DUFC 2017/18 Senior XV campaign will be full of memorable moments and matches.
Thank you all for your continued support.
D.U.F.C. Club Captain 2017/18