Saturday, 16 February 2013

Chairman's Update February 2013

Hi All

The days are finally lengthening and there is an air of spring around. In my email today, I'll mention how we're doing on the pitch and mention some events off the pitch.

On the Pitch
We had a very successful weekend last week from a team appearances point of view with the full three Men's teams out and the Women's' team also out. The results weren't ideal but these will improve as I feel we're in a  transition that all clubs go through where a new base of players has arrived and  are linking together.

Following a tough January, the 1s have a bit of a battle in Essex 1 but I'm heartened by the depth of players that we now have and with a bit of an effort, we'll finish strongly. Flex tells me we're up to 800 player appearances this year and have already exceeded last season. Venus are doing a fantastic job of attracting and developing players and are well worth their nomination of Senior Team of the Year at the Canary Wharf Sports Awards. Don't forget to tell friends and colleagues about us. Victoria Park remains unplayable after the Olympics but we're doing our best with Tower Hamlets Sports to secure it for home games.

A Message to New Players and Members
Welcome first of all. Secondly, please feel free to make this your club. We're not steeped in unchangeable traditions at Millwall and are open to improving things. Once you've paid your membership you have the same rights to change the club as someone who has been here for years and coming from me, who has been here 8 years, I know your ideas will be very welcome by the longer term members. 

Rocky testimonial, St Patricks Weekend and James Eason Leaving
As new members join, we'll be sad to see a number of players go and wish them well. Rocky (Jamie Rockman) has moved even further away this year and will find it hard to attend regularly so bids us farewell from regular playing. We're having his testimonial on Saturday March 16th which most of you will know is St Patrick's Weekend. Maybe we should we make the Chairman play as a leprechaun? It's bound to be an impressive day out.

The game and general day is open to everyone, regardless of whether you know Rocky or not, and there are no planned club games that day. Sign up via the team sheet below, don't worry which side, we'll rotate them on the day and we'll have specially made jerseys which you can put your name down for. Contact Larry McCabe for further details or see Facebook.

Team Sheet

James Eason is moving to Asia to take up a new role and would like to see you for a drink before he goes at Mary Janes, 124 - 127 Minories, London, England on Friday February 22. Your last chance to see if he really can box (though you might want to do it outside!). Facebook Event.

Following a very welcome donation by a member (thanks indeed), we gathered enough funds to make the application for matching funds from the RFU for a total of £10,000 and are now waiting for news from the RFU Trustees.

6 Nations & Millwall Involvement
I  know at least  Barry, Anton and I were in Dublin for a rather damp game last weekend which was no doubt brilliant if you were an England supporter, deservedly winning there after 10 years of losses there (Chairman ducks). Last weekend also saw an international cap for our own club member Leigh Dargan who turned out for the Ireland team against England, having a very successful 25-0 start, well done Leigh, further details here. Before that  we sent a merry  bunch to Wales and all returned safer and wiser.

Women's Team
Venus were deservedly nominated for Senior Team of the Year at the recent Canary Wharf Sports award and subsequently made it into the RFU's Touchline magazine which goes out nationally. Men - pay attention, they are doing something really well. 

We were also mentioned in Touchline for the RugbyFirst event and, for anyone who didn't see the Sky Sports coverage live from our own clubhouse, you can catch up here via  Facebook (and see some very still Millwall Bar staff namley Shaf, Garetha and Scott).

Scott has been working very hard with the RFU to bring new young players into the sport of rugby and to us in Millwall. We've hosted two event at the clubhouse this week and both have been a great success, firstly the Tower Hamlets U15 competition was attended by 5 schools (70 children) and went very well- this lead to discussions about a possible Saturday school league and possible u15 district team.

Secondly the next RFU schools event took place on Wednesday and had another 50 kids at the clubhouse. Again, this went very well and things are looking very positive for the future of our youth section. 

On top of this Scott has confirmed coaches for the youth section relaunch on Sunday March 3rd and the following 3 Sundays- any help on these Sundays would be much appreciated!! Contact

The healthy numbers attending training show Dave and Anton's quality coaching is working and will improve your playing. We're investing in the development of coaches and 6 of us were on the Recent Rugby Ready training course. Scott is arranging another event which will this time be organised through the club so payment and paperwork will be easier. Sign up via Facebook or contact Scott,

We're also looking to recruit more coaches given our plans for next year. See the club blog

Annual Dinner and Awards in the Houses of Parliament - May 11
The social highlight of the Year will be back once again in the Houses of Parliament courtesy of our President, Mr Jim Fitzpatrick MP. Save the date and watch out for more announcements or contact Brigitte

We're in the process of becoming an official RFU O2 Touch Partner. This brings a significant investment in terms of funds and help from the RFU to develop touch rugby. Its particularly useful given the number of people who work in Canary Wharf who would enjoy touch rugby. Watch out for further details and get involved.

Support Our Sponsors
Don't forget to support our sponsors who help allow you to play and support rugby, Byblos Harbour Lebanese Restaurant in Millharbour and The Gaylord Indian Restaurant, both of which offer excellent food on our doorstep, and your club membership earns you a discount.

Most years, we ask you the members directly for feedback and we'll be arranging a survey soon. 

First Aid
Andrea will be arranging the course soon, email to sign up and get further details.

The AGM is pencilled in for April 27th this year. Being on the committee takes a little work but gives a great sense of making a difference to the club and giving something back to a great sport. Next year will be a exciting year for us as both the club and the RFU build towards the World Cup in 2015, speak to current officers for more details. This is also an opportunity to understand the club, make changes to its running including the constitution (which can be changed in other ways outside the  AGM). Contact Paul for further details 

As you'll have noticed from the above, the club does have a very active Facebook page. While Flex writes a program and we do use email, Twitter, the website and blogs, we'll use what ever you find useful and Facebook does make updates very easy so hopefully any non Facebook users will understand.

Good luck until next time, 


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