The under 9 squad have enjoyed a great season with many highlights. We were unfortunate to lose a number of players during the year for a variety of reasons but at seasons end we have a strong squad of 26 talented, committed and dedicated players who train/play/travel each week with great energy and enthusiasm. Nothing bothers these boys: wind, rain, frost, ice, snow, bigger players, stronger teams – they just get stuck in and work hard every week and this is really starting to pay off in their game play.
The boys dedication has been matched by our 5 man coaching team who have continued to build great relationships with the lads while fostering a strong sense of fairness and team spirit. Paul Fitzgibbon joined the coaching team following Simon Bray's departure at the end of last season and all are very proud of the boys achievements this year.
They are also very proud of the fact that, despite the disruption to Sunday morning training due to Communion masses, they never called off a training session and instead got the boys down on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons whatever the weather!
The focus this year from a skills perspective was on rucking, lineouts and scrums as well as continuing to focus on safe and effective tackling. It was great to see the boys getting stuck into learning these skills and trying them out against various opponents during the season.
As part of the metro series of fixtures we travelled to Coolmine, Clontarf, St.Mary's, Seapoint and Ratoath and on three separate occasions we hosted teams from Bective, Barnhall, Balbriggan, Clondalkin, Coolmine, Ratoath, Clontarf and Malahide and gave them all a great morning out!! We also took part in the annual Old Belvedere blitz which is always a great event to round off the season.
I'm pleased to report that the boys performed brilliantly in all these fixtures and we easily won more matches than we drew or lost!!
Other highlights from the season included travelling as a team with parents and coaches to various Leinster fixtures in the Aviva and RDS as part of Leinster Rugby’s “One Province” ticketing initiative.
These are always great days out for the kids and parents alike.
On April 1st 15 of the squad, together with coaches and parents, travelled to Punchestown Racecourse to take part in “Mini Muckers” which is essentially a 2km obstacle course through wet fields and mud designed specifically with kids teams in mind!! It was a fantastic team building exercise and those that took part really enjoyed themselves, so much so that we might do it again next year!!
We are finishing up for the summer on Sunday 30h April and everyone is looking forward to having our Sunday mornings back for the next few months but will be ready to kick off another great season in September!!!