The new season is about to start and training for most of our players is well underway. I trust that we have all managed a break away from rugby, but it seems that the summer break gets shorter every year.
2019 to 2020 will be a big season for rugby worldwide as the Rugby World Cup kicks off in Japan followed by Wales v The Barbarians and then the 6 Nations in the Spring. Hopefully, Wales will continue with their successful run, but nearer home I hope that this coming season will be a successful one of Wrexham RFC. As a board, we set targets for the coming season and beyond both on and off the pitch and hopefully our members will join us on the journey to success. We would like to see our 1st XV secure promotion to Division 1 and the 2nd XV to secure their newly won place in the National Leagues. Youth rugby covers a 3-year age range and tends to have peaks and troughs as the average age of the squad changes from year to year but is still vital in providing the link from Junior to Senior rugby and hopefully the conveyor belt will continue to provide us and RGC with Senior players.
One of our aims has been to create the idea of "One Rugby Club". You are a member of a club, not a squad. We work together to provide the best rugby experience for all our members regardless of your age and have invested thousands of pounds each year on coach development, first aid training etc. as it is important that if we expect the best, we provide the best we can afford. We want our coaches and players to develop together to improve their skills.
I think it is important that every training session focuses on developing the basic skills of rugby. Every player should be able to run, pass, catch and tackle. I gather that every Welsh and All Blacks training session includes intensive sessions on the basics of rugby and we should do likewise. I think it is particularly important that our younger players focus on being better rugby players rather than being pigeon-holed into a position based on their body shape and size at a very young age. We all know that children grow at different rates and their body shape changes considerably in their younger years so they need to acquire the basic skills for every position. We are encouraging squads to work together in training to encourage continuity from one year to the next but also helps the coaches to share and gain experiences.
As a club, we have signed up for and support the WRU's "Half a Game" initiative whereby every young person who turns up for a match should get at least half a game on the pitch. This can create difficulties for some of our larger squads. but we have been able to organise some “extra” games to ensure that all our players get a chance to play. It does mean that on occasions, the result comes second to our aim of player development. An over-reliance on the "big kid" dominating the game does not do him or her or the other players of either side any good in the long term. If all our players end up as better players, they will enjoy their game much better and successful results will follow.
Away from the pitch some of you will be aware that as Barry Williams is busy with other things that I have taken over part of his role with managing the club’s International Ticket Allocations. It is a hard act to follow but I will do my best to ensure that the process meets our members’ needs in a fair way within the constraints of our allocation. If members would like to apply for tickets for the Barbarians’ game and the 6 Nations then please contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) as I will then have a copy of your request rather than relying on fading memory and scruffy pieces of paper.
I look forward to seeing you at the club,