The Minety RFC Annual General Meeting was held last night (11th June) in the club house at Minety.
In front of a good turnout, and considerably more than the quorum in the club’s Articles of Association, the chairman opened the meeting, thanked those in attendance and gave the first of a series of reports from 2018-2019 Committee members and the team captains. The chairman’s address can be located below this report, for those interested.
After the receipt of reports from the chair, the club captain (Tom Claxton), the 2nd XV captain (Steve Wilson), the club coach (Andy Grayson), the treasurer (given by Peter McAllister in Kevin Holdway’s absence) and the junior report (Peter McAllister), the following were elected onto the Committee to serve from June 2019 to June 2020.
President: Andy Ward
Chairman: Jack Ward
Vice Chair: Davie Peirce
Treasurer: Kev Holdway
Secretary: Peter McAllister
Club Captain: Andrew Hibbard *
Fixture Secretary: Rob Hinwood
Social Secretary: Morgan Aubrey
Groundsman: John Bulter
Press & Publicity Officer: Vacant
MPFA Rep: Vacant
2nd Team Captain: Steve Wilson
International Tickets: Andy Edwards
1st team Vice Captain: Mark Glew *
2nd Team Vice Captain: Vacant
Coach: Andy Grayson
Fundraiser / sponsorship: Vacant
Webmaster: Graham Cooke
Data Officer: Martin Coe
Referee Co-ordinator: Andy Brown
* indicates the result after a vote at the meeting.
The club still needs to recruit: a representative to attend MPFA meetings; a Press and Publicity Officer; a 2nd XV vice captain; and a Fund Raiser / Sponsorship officer. If anyone would like to put themselves forward for any of these rolle they should let Peter McAllister know as soon as possible.
Outgoing Chairman’s address
First of all, in line with many recent announcements, I do not intend to burst into tears at the end of my address and, no, I have never taken c*****e nor snorted anything stronger than snuff.
As some of you know, I took over from Ken Wright late on in the year and I would like to extend my thanks to Ken for all the work that he did during his time as Club Chairman and for the significant role and support he has played in the life of the club over many years.
It has certainly been a challenging year both on and off the field.
Tom and Steve will no doubt comment in much more detail but I’d like to congratulate all of the players who represented Minety, both at 1st XV and 2nd XV levels this year. The 48 who played for the 1st XV and the 50 plus who represented the 2nd XV played with determination, spirit, dignity and sportsmanship, often in the face of unacceptable and unpalatable behaviour from opposition players and their support staff.
The 1st XV ended the season in 6th place, played 22, won 11, while the 2nd XV were 8th, disadvantaged by concessions and the withdrawal of clubs in D&W3.
I’d like to place on record my thanks to Tom and Steve for all of their work in leading the two teams but would also plead with all players to be more proactive in team selection. It cannot be right that captains should have to text and call individuals as many as 5 times before they get a response – once should be sufficient. Ideally I’d like to hear of players making themselves available for selection, without the need for 100s of texts from the captains.
The year started with massive work undertaken to improve the drainage of the three pitches, work which proved its worth as the season progressed and the sand filled drains settled. Many thanks to Andrew Hibbard, Tom Claxton, Ben Collins and Brett King for their hard work to see that project through.
I believe that our gaining full RFU Accreditation was a major hurdle overcome, and I’d like to pay tribute to the enormous amount of work undertaken by Cliff Garland and Tom Claxton in getting the paper work completed, approved by the committee and then approved by the RFU.
The Accreditation gives a framework to develop the club over the next few years. The challenges will be great. We cannot compare ourselves to local clubs with multi million pound developments and all the trimmings associated with huge wealth. But we can match them on the pitch and match them in spirit and ambition. But we all need to pull together, to work as one, to assist and lead and support at every level in the club.
One aim is to bring the junior and senior wings of the club closer together and I was honoured to be asked to present awards at the Junior division’s end of season party last month and very impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the players, coaches and parents. I hope that the links between the sections continue to strengthen. The future is bright but only if we all pull together.
We now have a sponsorship brochure which, hopefully, can be used profitably to access much needed funding and a much clearer idea as to how we can tackle recruitment and strengthen our playing resources at every level.
We have a robust disciplinary policy now, one that served us well this season. We now have procedures in place in the event of last minute concessions and cancelations of games. Policies and documents such as these oil the workings of a successful club.
The Minety 7s was another successful venture this year. We may not have made as much money as in previous years but the feedback from those competing has been exceptional and planning is already in train for next year’s event. Once again, I must pay tribute to Tom Claxton for his work in the overall organisation and all the other club members who helped what is a complex event to manage.
At the end of the year we are currently looking at improving the lighting conditions for training. New, much brighter bulbs are being tested and we hope to replace as many of the lighting poles and lamps as possible, fund raising and seeking sponsorship to cover the costs.
I hope that soon a new tractor will appear to cut the grass and tend the fields. My experience of the old one, dodgy brakes, a continuous blast of exhaust fumes in the face and a throttle lever that detached itself randomly has left an indelible mark on me and I hope that a new one will be more kind on both operative and playing surface.
I’d like to end by acknowledging some individuals and groups, and I apologise if I have left anyone out.
It goes without saying that I must thank JB for all of his work and his good humoured support for all that we do. Every club needs a JB; we’re just so fortunate that we have him, miss placed apostrophe and all!
I’d also like to recognise the huge amount of work that Andy Grayson, and latterly James Irvine, has done especially when we lost the services of Hywel at the start of the season.
Thanks to Anton for his physio support and also to Tracy Glew for her 1st aid support for the 2nd XV.
Thanks to Andy Somers for the Presentation evening in May and also to the Social Committee for their work throughout the year.
I’d also like to pay tribute to those people who work so hard behind the scenes. To Kev and all the people who prepare the food at the end of home matches, to Caroline Stone for her photographs which have adorned many press releases this year, to Rosemary Scott for laundering the kit week in, week out, to Andrew O’Dell and Pete MacAllister for their support in the club house on match days, to Dave Cooke for his work ensuring referees are available and liaising with other clubs throughout the season.
Tonight we have interrupted the great work that Duncan Simpson undertakes in organising the tag summer programme. It is very satisfying to see so many people, of all ages and shapes, taking part and reflects so well upon the club.
To Ed Wolton and his incredibly enthusiastic group of junior age group coaches for their work in bringing through the next generations of Minety players
And, of course, to the Committee members who have worked so hard this year and been such a support to me recently as I’ve wrestled with the job.
To conclude, I wish the new committee the greatest success and appeal to all members, playing or non playing, to involve themselves more in the running of their club. It might look serene like a swan on the surface but below it’s hard graft that will determine the future of this club as it approaches its 50th anniversary.
I can say this year has been a challenge but I am buoyed by the fact that, uniquely, I hold a 100% winning record – no Minety team has lost a match while I have been in the role. In my dotage, that will be a source of great satisfaction.