Dear Fellow Members
I hope all are enjoying the Summer with your families.
Although the weather has been great sunshine, the Pitches are in desperate need of rain. Hopefully weather will be turning soon.
Pre season and the summer have been very active across all areas of the Club.
Starting with Rugby:
In the senior club, Dave Ward and his squad have been working hard in the sunshine in pre-season. It’s great to see so many new faces down at the Club, with more on the way, in particular our new backs player-coach Pete Hodgkinson. Pete joins us from London Irish Wild Geese and will play fly-half. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome him to the club and I’m sure you will all enjoy watching him out on the pitch. We also have Tom Richards joining us, a winger who we met through our Guildford Bears sevens side. We have a number of new faces up front too who will join us in time for our first home league game on Saturday September 1st against Chingford.
The Gazelles have also started pre-season after a hugely successful summer of 7s and we expect more big things from them this year.
On the debit side, we say goodbye to Rory Andrews who heads off to Australia. Also, we say goodbye to Ollie Millward and Tom Devereux who are going to enjoy a ski-season. Best of luck to all of them, hopefully they return to us sooner rather than later.
Ali Chisholm, who joined us late last year and suffered an injury against Hertford, is taking the season off and is joining his brothers at Farnham in a role as the first team manager. Both Dan Paton and Paddy MacEnri will start the season on the disabled list as well.
Additionally, I would to Thank Topsy OJ for everything he has done for Guildford Rugby Club, and we wish him all the best in his future with the London Irish.
On the plus side, it’s great to see Ben Holden and Jamie Roberts back at training again after long injuries.
We are still looking for accommodation for some young Australians coming to over in a couple of weeks. Twin brothers, they are very promising players and we’re very excited to have them with us this year. They are looking to stay together and if there are any Club Members who know of available accommodations, please do reach out to Skippy.
In the junior Club, Susan Payne has worked hard in the off-season to identify a coach to take our (now) u-13 girls section forward and after a lot of hard work we’ve appointed Chloe Butler, a former Australian international and ‘veteran’ of two World Cups. Chloe is part of the Lions coaching set up and is another exciting addition to the Club.
A few weeks ago, Skippy had the chance to walk the pitches with Giles Bedloe, Jason McEachran and Nick Taft, looking at the new pitch layout and how best to accommodate the different age groups and their needs. With the North Field reconfigured we now have a new Colts pitch running parallel to the Club House and access to the pitches at Broadwater through a new gate. You’ll get the chance to see it in September, but essentially the younger age groups are now on the Club House side, closer to the toilets and new facilities. More space, better use of it and more car parking is all great news.
Finally, Kyle Sinckler is at training with the England squad. With the Autumn internationals including New Zealand, the Six Nations and World Cup, it will be a huge year for him personally. We are very proud of what he has achieved and wish him all the best this season.
It’s going to be a great year on the Pitches and I look forward to seeing you all down at our Rugby Club.
I am happy to say that through the work of Jason McEachran and our staff, we are expected to have a Catering Truck delivered to the Club shortly. In due time, it will be painted Guildford Colors and will be a major asset to all areas of the Club for our festivals, tournaments and Senior Home Games!!
As promised, we will be providing a financial update and Nick Taft will provide his Treasurer’s Letter. Unfortunately, due to Holiday time with some staff and Board Members, it is a little delayed, but will be provided shortly.
Lastly, I just want to say I hope you all enjoy the rest of the Summer and are excited for the New Rugby season!!
As always, please reach out to me with any questions
All the best