As we celebrate Christmas at the middle of the second season for Newport RFC under the new arrangements of being tenants at Rodney Parade it might be an opportune time to look back on what we have achieved in eighteen months and look to the future.
There was certainly a lot of disruption during the summer of 2017 and a lot to do following the vote and before the first game. This was done and we welcomed a large crowd to a sunny stadium for the opening fixture verses Cardiff. The biggest changes were off the pitch where now just about all of the jobs requiring to be done on a match day were being done by the volunteers of Friends of Newport Rugby. Selling and checking tickets, cleaning the toilets and changing rooms, picking up rubbish, serving food etc. etc. the list goes on. These activities have continued right up to today and we send a heartfelt thanks to all of our volunteers without whom we would not be able to operate. If you would like to get involved, there’s always room for a willing pair of hands.
On the pitch we had a good season with a mid table league position and a first cup final in the semi-pro era. The result didn’t go our way on the day but it wet the whistle of expectation and everyone is keen to do it all again. The coaches have recruited well and performances have reflected this.
Off the pitch the directors have tried to balance the books and keep the club on a sound financial footing. It’s difficult. Extremely difficult. There’s never enough money to do everything that we would like to do and the only way to improve that is to get more people along to watch our matches and to generate more sponsorship and advertising. You all can help with that, so please try and bring more friends and family to games and think about who you know who might be able to help with sponsorship. It has been pleasing to see a good working relationship with the Dragons which we continue to develop.
FoNR now have a weekly lottery draw, match day raffle and monthly Bullion draw. They are well aware that the target for these activities is you the loyal supporter but it needs to be like this. The Trust raises a huge amount of money to support the club and needs to continue to do so going forward.
We are well advanced with our plans at Rougement School and are delighted with the partnership we are developing with them. Our training environment is good and set to improve as both parties invest in the facilities.
This season we have had a pretty good league campaign so far and are well placed to push towards the top in the second half of the season. The cup also awaits us in the New Year. Emily O’Driscoll is now heading up our physiotherapy efforts with Ethan Kinney leading Strength & Conditioning. Two very key appointments.
Stick with us. Wear your black and amber with pride and shout the boys to victory. Have a great Christmas and New Year and we look forward to welcoming you back to Rodney Parade in 2019.
Dennis Bennett, Will Godfrey, Dave Griffiths & Kevin Jarvis – Newport RFC Directors.