Club focus - Waterford City
Year of positives for City slickers
Waterford City Rugby Club is celebrating its 120th anniversary, and so far it's been a year to remember.
This year the senior men's team gained promotion to Division 2 of the Munster Junior League, following eight long seasons in Division 3.
They continued their winning steak by claiming the Munster Junior Bowl for the first time with a 22-0 win over Scariff in Thurles.
Waterford City's Junior 2 side also had a strong league campaign with some fantastic performances and came agonisingly close to retaining the Ballyrandle Cup only to lose out in the dying minutes of the final.
These achievements can be credited to the work ethic of the players and in no small part to head coach Peter Jones, who has developed the squad over the past 12 months.
"After taking over as coach at the start of 2012/13 season, I've been delighted with the progress the club has made at all levels," Jones said.
"Last season was extremely successful not only for gaining promotion and winning silverware, but also for establishing a positive senior squad ethos that permeates throughout the club.
"This was evident last season which saw an average of 29 players at our 81 training sessions, which included 55 players who wore the Waterford City jersey with pride.
"Having reached our target of promotion last year, we aim to continue to build a senior team which caters for all members of our training squad whilst developing skill levels and game understanding."
Waterford City are confident their success last season is a stepping stone to better things in 2014 and Jones feels that the right people have been put in place to take the club to the next level.
"I would like to acknowledge my skipper Dave O'Connor and team manager Donal O'Brien, who have been instrumental in ensuring that we continue to develop," he said.
"Our objective is to make sure the players gain the rewards on the field for all their work off the field."
With rugby development at all levels being the prime focus for the club's success, Waterford City fielded their first women's team in 2010. They have also experienced great victories over the past few seasons in the Munster Development League.
Huge strides have also been made at mini and youth level, which now sees teams competing at every age grade from U-7s all the way up to U-18s.
Player recruitment has been challenging for the club due to competition with other sports; however, the continued hard work from their underage committee has ensured the development and retention of young players.
Club president Jason Power, who was recently elected for the season, taking over from club stalwart Dixie Daniels, said: "This season we aim to build on the hard work put in by our coaches, players and committee.
Our underage and ladies teams are getting stronger each year and our senior players have a big season ahead as a result of the success from last year.
"I have no doubt all our hard work during pre-season will pay off."
Power also paid tribute to the club's committee, who have done tireless work to ensure the development of their facilities in Kilbarry.
"Two fully flood-lit pitches, new dressing-rooms, scrum machines and a function room are but a few of the big projects that have come to fruition and we are currently formulating bigger plans in the foreseeable future," he added.
"We hope to continue to grow as a club and welcome anyone who would like to play rugby, maybe for the first time or someone returning to the sport."
President: Jason Power
Hon. secretary: Oliver Clery
Club PRO: Damien Kennedy
Fixtures secretary: Paul Murphy