Over the course of Wanderers FC’s 150 year history the Club has seen many challenging times. And so 2020 brings us a truly global event which impacts right into the heart of every community.
As I welcome you to the 2020/21 season there is no getting away from the fact that this is going to be a unique season, shaped by this dreadful pandemic which we are all learning to live with. However, we are already seeing how times of adversity can bring communities together. This has certainly been the case with Wanderers FC.
The Clubs number one priority is the safety of all our players and members. Thereafter it is to return to playing rugby in a safe and compliant manner.
And here I want to give a big thank-you to our COVID 19 Committee led by COVID Safety Officer Dee Keating. This group of Dee, Fionn Daly, Dermot Rafter, Niall Crowley, Sarah Gibney and Fergus Moriarty have been working tirelessly to ensure we can get back up and running both on and off the pitch. Rugby is the closest of contact sports and you can just imagine the protocols which need to be in place to facilitate a safe return to training and ultimately matches. Having seen the COVID Committee in action I can assure you we are in very safe hands.
The one thing that strikes me every year is the number of volunteers who put up their hand to give the Club a dig out. It takes a lot of people to run Wanderers FC and with the demands on volunteerism increasing, it’s a case of many hands making light work. I would like to thank all of those who give of their time so freely to ensure our Members, be they six are a hundred and six years old, have somewhere to go to play or watch the sport they love.
And of course all of this is to facilitate rugby. For all our players, coaches and players, the 2020/21 season will no doubt be a frustrating one. Rugby is what pulls us together and will unfortunately be disrupted. However, it is up to us all to stay together as a Club and participate in, and enjoy, whatever on field activity we are able to do in the short term, and look forward to a full return whenever that happens.
Club life continues and your Executive Committee has been convened for the season. We have also introduced a number of Executive Sub-Committees to share the load and put focus on different aspects of Club life.
Your Executive is made up of the Officers and Members elected at the recent AGM supplemented with co-opted Members. Myself, Tom Walsh (Vice President), Neil Metchette (Vice President), John Duffy (Hon Treasurer), Sarah Gibney (Hon Secretary), Eoghan Nihill and Dermot Rafter were elected at the AGM and are joined by Joe McDermott, Peter Brougham and Trevor Montgomery (who will act as Chair). I would also like to thank the following for agreeing to chair the new Executive Sub-Committees tasked with running various areas within the Club
John Duffy – Executive Chair, Finance Committee
Liam McDermott – Executive Chair, Fund Raising Committee
Niall Crowley – Executive Chair, Facilities & Clubhouse Committee
Allan Brownlee – Executive Chair, Rugby Committee
John Fitzpatrick – Executive Chair, Development Committee
Dee Keating – Executive Chair, COVID Committee & COVID Safety Officer
With so much going on in the Club, and us living in very uncertain times, it is important that we keep you the Member up to speed. I’m also delighted that Mike Shelly has agreed to take on the role of Club PRO/Communication Officer. Mike has been helping us up our game on this front for the last couple of seasons and has made a huge impact.
On the Club development front, we had fantastic news that we have secured full planning permission for the new Clubhouse. This is a significant milestone secured on the back of huge effort on the part of the Development Committee. We now enter the next stage of the project and we anticipate sharing further details with Members throughout the season.
So, despite lockdown, there’s an awful lot going on in the Club and a huge effort invested by a lot of Members to get us back playing. We may not be allowed to see the fruits of these labours just yet, but I look forward to catching up with you in the not too distant future to enjoy the simple pleasure of a pint, a chat and watching winning Wanderers teams on the pitch.
Yours in Rugby
Wanderers FC President 2020/2021