I am writing to you as the new Men’s Club Captain, to give you a general update ahead of the season. Work is well under way on a variety of areas to better prepare all teams for the 2016-17 season. Last season was another successful one, with all teams maintaining their league status. The 2015-16 saw the 1st eleven participate in the inaugural year of the All Ireland EYHL. The squad also enjoyed the sweet taste of silverware, collecting the Neville Cup after defeating Monkstown in an epic St Stephens Day encounter in Serpentine Avenue. A game that was very much enjoyed by the players and all the supporters that attended. The 2nd elven had their own noteworthy cup run, making it to the final where they were defeated by Clontarf in a closely fought battle. All teams were competitive in their respective leagues and will look to build on their performances from last year.
Firsts –EYHL (8th last year)
Seconds – Div 2 (4th last year)
Thirds – Div 3 (7th last year)
Fourths – Div 4 (3rd last year)
Fifths – Div 8 (10th last year)
Captains (or representatives of captains yet to be appointed) have been engaged and there has been much dialogue over email about planning for this season and below are the various things that are in progress already:
All captains are actively looking to encourage players to join the club, obviously, players that will improve the teams and share the right Railway ethos is important, we are also looking to re-engage some former players who have not played for a few years and try and see if they would be willing to come back even for a few games a season. As members we all have a shared responsibility to try and recruit so please or even pass on details to one of the captains or invite guys down to midweek training.
This year the Leinster league season is due to start on Saturday 24th September for all teams. In advance of this we are going to arrange some intra club games in the 3 weeks prior to this mainly involving players from the 3rds to the 5ths and the u16s.
We are trying to get these as organised as soon as possible with players kitted out, umpires, coaches etc as we don’t want just an extension of the summer hockey but competitive pre-season matches played in the right spirit.
We believe this will provide a great opportunity for everyone and particularly the younger players and new members to test themselves in a competitive environment and allow everyone to get in better shape for the season ahead.
Pre-season Match schedule
Week 1: Sat 3rd Sept (time-tbc) – Railway Selection v Railway Selection
Week 2: Sat 10th Sep (time – tbc) – Railway Selection v Railway Selection
Week 3: Sat 17th Sep (time – tbc) – Railway Selection v Railway Selection
Week 4: Sat 24th Sep First Round of League Fixtures
We are also in contact with other teams to arrange team specific friendlies, more details to follow.
We will send out details via Teamer once arrangements are firmed up.
We are also looking at some Bootcamp style training commencing the end of august. More to follow on this.
It won’t hurt to get your runners on now and start pounding the pavement. The sooner you start the better. I am sure there are plenty of excess summer calories to be burned off.
Midweek training for the 1st eleven and 2nd eleven has already commenced on Tuesday and Thursdays at Park Avenue. For the 3-5s midweek training will start Tuesday the 6th of September from 6.30 to 8.00 and run every week thereafter.
Same Kit as last season.
Playing shirt – Gold (Reece Darwin shirt) – (embroidered with the club crest)
Playing shorts – Bottle Green (Reece Legacy shorts) – (embroidered with the club crest)
Playing socks – Gold with green hoops at top
All the kit above is the same as the firsts/seconds have been using in the past number of years and it is top quality kit that the club is going to use for the foreseeable future.
All kit is available from Ed Dwyer of Ed Sports, located in Pembroke Hockey Club, Serpentine Avenue
We currently have a system whereby the 1st eleven umpire the games for the 3-5s. Occasionally throughout the year you may be asked to umpire a game when the 1st eleven are playing away from home and are unavailable. If you have any questions about the laws of hockey, please consult Rob Abbot, who recently umpired his first international fixture. Rob has all the knowledge and is always keen to share. Rules change from year to year and it never hurts to brush up.
Throughout the year you will be asked to help out with underage coaching. The colts section is the future of the club and it is where many of us started playing. As a member you will be expected to give a number of hours of your time towards coaching and other tasks in the club. This has a huge number of positive impacts on our club. Railway Union is a community, not just a facility and all our members are encouraged to be part of the club and part of the community to ensure that it carries on for many years to come.
Volunteering for 2016-17
If anyone is keen to help out coaching with the junior men’s or women’s teams on a Saturday or Sunday please contact me (details below) as we are always keen to have more members helping out. Kenny and the other coaches are doing a great job with the underage section and it is really important to the future of the club.
Best of luck for the coming year, I hope you are banging them in the top corner every week.
Yours in sport
Graham O’Meara – Railway Union Hockey Club Men’s Club Captain