President’s Message Season 2017/18
A very warm welcome to everyone associated with Dublin University Football Club, and indeed to those who may like to get involved with the Club at whatever level. Also, to all our visiting clubs and their supporters a very special and hearty welcome to College Park, home of Trinity Rugby.
Things have moved on considerably since the time I played in Trinity in the late 70’s (for example, we had one coach in our day, nowadays there is almost a coach for every position!). That coupled with other essential outlays, needless to say, all costs money and we are very reliant (and hugely grateful) for the sponsorship provided by our main sponsor Bank of Ireland (and other sponsors highlighted in this yearbook) as well as the subscription income received from our members who I hope will support the various events and fund raising activities during the coming year.
In relative terms, the cost of membership is nominal and if you are not already a member, I would urge you please to become one by simply visiting our website www.dufc.ie (three clicks!) or contacting the D.U.F.C. Rugby Office at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get the whole matter sorted in a few minutes. Thousands of players over the years have had the honour of playing for D.U.F.C. and yet we only have a non playing membership base of approximately 200! The first team play at the top level of the All Ireland League and a higher quality of club rugby you will find hard to see anywhere else in the world! Please join and you will be rewarded, with among other things, a warm welcome, a truly unique location to watch rugby in College Park, afterwards the “Pav.” for a few social drinks renewing old acquaintances or making new friends and the magnificent Dining Hall for the more formal occasions. Enjoy a unique University rugby experience, a Club for life!
Over the years, D.U.F.C. Members and Trinity Alumni have played major roles in the development and administration of rugby in Ireland and worldwide. This year is no exception and we are naturally very proud and honoured that Philip Orr is the President of the Irish Rugby Football Union for the current year. Philip gained his Colours with D.U.F.C. in 1971/72 & 1972/73, starred in many representative teams and went on to gain 58 caps for Ireland as well as being chosen twice for the British & Irish Lions. With regard to the recent successful Lions Tour to New Zealand, I would like to acknowledge the part played by John Feehan as their CEO (another D.U.F.C. prop who won his Colours between 1985/88). We also wish our past captain Dick Spring, Chair of Ireland’s Rugby World Cup 2023 Bid Oversight Board our best wishes in their efforts to bring the Rugby World Cup to Ireland for the first time. Apart from the historic value and the likely positive impact on the development of rugby in this country, it will bring with it enormous economic, social and political benefits to the whole island of Ireland. We wish Dick Spring and other Trinity Rugby Members and Alumni, such as Hugo MacNeill and Philip Browne, involved in the bid process the best of luck in their endeavours.
I wish Michael Courtney the very best of luck and success as Club Captain, the first CBC Monkstown past pupil to hold that position. We, and no doubt his school, are very proud of him. Similarly, I would like to wish Jack Burke the very best in his second term as Vice-Captain, a true leader of the pack and an old fashioned genuine team player. The same good wishes are extended to all captains and vice-captains of the various teams throughout the Club.
Regretfully, there was no regular women’s rugby in my day (although the first recorded Colours match was played in 1973 between Trinity and UCD – for the appropriate link to the RTE Player Archive visit our website www.dufc.ie). I wish Molly Boyne, this year’s Captain, every success and good luck for the year. Molly and her team have a clear aim of winning their Division and moving up to the higher leagues which in turn would generate more and better players for Trinity Rugby. We are behind them all the way in helping them to achieve their goal.
To our Director of Rugby Tony Smeeth, his assistant Hugh McGuire and all the coaching and support staff involved in Trinity Rugby, our very best wishes for the coming season and a massive thanks to all of them for their skill and expertise in producing teams of the highest quality year in, year out.
The parents, brothers,sisters,relatives and friends of all the players are most welcome and indeed are essential in providing the necessary encouragement and support for them throughout the year.
I would like to thank the referees and their assistants for their hard work and dedication and without which there would be no rugby. Please respect their decisions even if you disagree with them, remember they are a lot closer to the action than we are!
There are lots of people to thank without which there would be no D.U.F.C. I will not name them here but they know who they are! One person, though, I would like to thank is my immediate predecessor, Roger Brownlee, one of life’s true gentlemen. It was a great honour to serve as his Vice-President last year, and I learned many valuable lessons from Roger along the way. One other person I would like to thank is Aidan Walsh who is the Club’s Vice-President this year. Aidan recently stepped down as the Club’s Treasurer after many years of loyal and diligent service. Aidan inherited accounts with a significant deficit but left with that cleared in full and imposed much needed financial discipline. John Doddy takes over from Aidan and we wish him the best of luck in his new role.
Finally, and most importantly, I wish all the players involved, both our own and the opposition, an injury free and enjoyable rugby season.
President, D.U.F.C. 2017/18