Club Focus: Kilrush FC - Glynn hoping to maintain Clare club's development
Published 30/10/2015 | 02:30
Founded in 1924, Kilrush RFC fielded teams intermittently over the years and it wasn't until 1971 that the club was officially affiliated to the Munster Branch.
Club president David Glynn played a key role in the reformation of Kilrush RFC in the 1970s and since then the club has enjoyed many successes on and off the pitch.
"I went to Glenstal Abbey School as a boarder and it was there I started playing rugby. When I finished school I moved back to Kilrush around the same time as a few other friends of mine who had been boarding in Newbridge College," Glynn says.
"In total, there were about seven of us that had played rugby at school so we decided to start training and set about getting a few locals together to start a team. We reached the final of the Mansergh Cup in 1974 but it was in the 1980s that we enjoyed our greatest success, winning the Webb Cup three times during that decade."
With an excellent underage structure Glynn says Kilrush are very proud of their rugby development pathway with a majority of their underage players feeding into their senior side.
"We are very proud of our underage structure. It started about 15 years ago and between the girls and boys we have anything up to 150 players taking part at mini level.
"We are fielding youth teams from U-13 right through to U-18 who are all competing well. On average 80pc of our senior team have come up through our underage which is a huge testament to our player development."
Coordinated by George Nolan, girls rugby has been recently established at Kilrush with plans in place to eventually form a women's side.
"We have two girls teams at U-16 and U-18 level who are doing really well in their respective leagues", adds Glynn. "We started playing just two years ago and the numbers are steadily getting bigger and bigger which is very positive and it is our plan to get a senior ladies team going very soon."
Set at the picturesque landscape of west Clare, Kilrush boasts impressive facilities with long-term plans for pitch development in place.
"We have great facilities," Glynn says. "We have our own changing rooms, a main pitch and we purchased a second pitch a couple of years ago which we are planning to develop in the near future.
"We also have excellent training facilities at our own grounds and have the use of an astroturf pitch in the town which allows us to play in all weather conditions."
Now competing in the Gleeson League, Kilrush RFC participated in the Junior League up to four seasons ago and unfortunately struggled at that level due to a drop in playing numbers.
"We found up to a couple of years ago that a lot of our players had retired and we just couldn't field a team," Glynn adds.
"In the Gleeson League we play our games on a Saturday - most of our players are students and it suits them better - they're really enjoying their rugby and that's the most important thing.
"Though we lost a lot of players over the last ten years, we're really coming back better than ever now and now that our underage section has really taken off things are looking very positive for us.
"Our goal is to continue developing our players and eventually get back to competing in the Junior League.
"We know there is a lot of room for development but promotion is certainly our end goal. We have a very active committee who put in endless hours of hard work so I am confident it's only a matter of time before we will be where we want to be.
"As club president, I can honestly say that I am delighted with the way things are going in terms of our youth structure and player pathway into our senior team.
"Our development structures are really working and I am very confident that there is a bright future ahead for Kilrush rugby club."