Sunday, 5 May 2013

Chairman's Report - AGM 2013

Chairman's Report  2012-2013 Season


Recent years have been difficult for several reasons and when we as a Committee came into this season, we had one main aim - stabilise the club. I feel we went a long way towards doing this though some work remains.

On the pitch, our 1s started well and finished well but struggled mid-season and "the elephant in the room" is the threat of relegation for our mens 1st team to Essex 2. Regardless of whether this happens, I'm confident in the club's ability; relegation is a consequence of leagues and it often gives teams a breathing space to re-structure and come back stronger. Our Women had an excellent season, building on the previous one and were really only held back by lack of opposition. Our 3rds were also hampered by this and for me the stars were the mens 2nd team, the Llamas. From playing with them, I was proud of how they merged together through the season and showed true grit in many matches eventually getting to the Plate final. Our Youth Section suffered like many clubs from a lack of numbers but the re-launch bodes well.

Off the pitch, I thought the performance was excellent in many areas; the atmosphere in the clubhouse, the many social events we had and the willingness of people to take on roles. On the latter point, everyone (players especially) needs to keep in mind that, unlike other clubs, we don't have a backroom of old boys\girls who can take on roles to help the club. The biggest group in the club are the players so if we want things to be better, the only people who can do this are us.

The VIP visits from Stuart Lancaster, Prime Minister David Cameron and Lord Coe, were exciting events for the club and show the level of confidence the RFU, both Twickenham and Essex County Board, have in us as a rugby club.

Financially, we've finished strongly though rigorous cost control, increased sponsorship and bar revenues and have money to re-invest in making Millwall Rugby Club stronger.

There are challenges ahead of us next season but also huge opportunities. We've a good base of male players now, the Women are going from strength to strength, we have floodlights for training on the Park and we have the buildup to the World Cup in 2015.



  • The fact that we had the men's 1s and 2s out almost every weekend. The Women and Thirds were limited mainly by a lack of opposition. 
  • 2nd best year in % increase in players from start to end of season. About 1200 player appearances, 31 weeks played with average 37 players\week (men and women)
  • 2nds getting to Plate Final
  • Retention - we retained a lot of the new players but lost old ones
  • Recruitment - open days etc, stats show brought us new players
  • The Open day, Matt Shorrock's testimonial. Great kickoff to the season. Rocky's Testimonial and Enland v ROW great finish to season
  • Rest of World Day - Men more competitive than last year indicates England's relative strength
  • The various women's games through the year and the progress in numbers and the benefit this had on the club in terms of social and also club togetherness.
  • Venus team nominated for Canary Wharf Sports Awards
  • New women's kit
  • Getting the floodlights
  • Numbers at training both for men and especially for women
  • Getting transport sorted out pretty well during the season
  • Coaching - we'll have done two RugbyReady courses. We'll have a new Level 1
  • Women's Tour
  • Fixtures - this seemed to go well for 1s and 2s in particular
  • Contract signed to be an O2 Touch Partner bringing in £5000 over 3 years to develop Touch Rugby in Canary Wharf and East London


  • Substantial progress on getting the rent on the clubhouse sorted out, will save thousands in cash each year
  • De-cluttered the clubhouse, sold items  (pool table sale £75, suitcase sales £115, scrap metal £50) Money raised HSBC £ for £ - £500, HSBC private hires - £600. Grand Draw £837, RugbyForce £500,  totalling £2,667+
  • Increased DMs and Bar Staff. Now have 8 active DMs and a further 5+ trained - Rota in place to share the load.
  • Record taking day in clubhouse for Rocky's Testimonial (over £2700)
  • Extra storage area constructed
  • Clubhouse open earlier and on more occasions
  • New CCTV equipment and storage, DIY

Press and Sponsorship

  • Stuart Lancaster's visit and RugbyForce' launch where we made national papers and had a live Sky TV broadcast from the clubhouse
  • Prime Minister David Cameron and Lord Coe's visit with attendant large number of kids (40+) enjoying themselves and the further press coverage and live BBC coverage
  • Sponsorship - doubled/extended the current sponsors, added a new sponsor for the Women, Canary Wharf Construction Group
  • Match reports, weekly coverage in local papers. I'm coming across people all the time now who hear of Millwall rugby through this year's coverage.


  • The general good atmosphere around the club and the feeling that we've turned the corner and we can grow again


  • Poppy Collection in November raised £1900 - good engagement from club, positive exposure in the Community, made people aware of the club
  • Good feedback from local residents, local groups e.g. AICVC and Millwall Park Users Groups


  • The Christmas Party, St Patrick's Night party, the Boys v Girls night, all the 6 Nations games, England v Rest of the World


  • Re-launched, 40-50 secondary school kids at the RFU linked events, 40 at the Prime Minister's visit


  • Financial strength increased - see Treasurer's report. 
  • Sorted out membership fees for next season
  • Maximised profit to club on International Ticket sales
  • Incorporation - we've got to the stage where we can put it to the members 

Development Items Next Season\Committee

  • Rugby Force weekend on June 15/16
  • Getting a Vet's team out for a game or two
  • Paddock Floodlights - we might\should remove these

Areas of Improvement\Challenges

Didn't go so well

  • Men's First Team - obviously getting relegated or at least coming very close to it was not what we planned
  • Youth - alongside many clubs, our numbers dropped, in our case to zero for some of the year.
  • Give it a Go - we didn't really maximise our chance here
  • Discipline - we gave a lot of penalties away and continued to speak with multiple voices to refs
  • Farm - this relationship came to a conclusion from our use of the paddock
  • Tower Hamlets - They did well on the clubhouse rent and floodlights but could have done more on the pitches.
  • No Men's Tour
  • Sub-committees - across the board, these were more limited or non-existent than other years
  • First Aid - we didn't get the numbers and the courses organised intra-season

Challenges we overcame

  • We had no home pitches for the early part of the season
  • We lost our men's training at the start and the women's after Christmas, having to then train on a hard surface
  • We lost established players when they returned home last season

Challenges for next season

  • Coaching - Finding a new Head Coach 
  • Continuing the momentum in the Youth Section
  • If in Essex 2, getting promotion. 

Finally, many thanks you all of you who have helped me during the year, those on the Committee, those volunteers and everyone else in the club.


Tim McDonagh
Millwall Rugby Club
75 Manchester Road - London - E14 3DN
+44 7795 436715-
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