FEATURED ARTICLE: Grass Roots Glory: CITY OF ARMAGH RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB ~ THE BEST ULSTER JUNIOR RUGBY CLUB ARE POISED TO COMPETE IN AIL RUGBY: A Special Review Of The Entire Club: Pictures, Vids, Reports, History
Immense, astounding, tremendous, they have achieved Grassroots Glory! Heroes in their Club & City ~ ALL THE HARD WORK HAS PAID OFF. Nobody said it would be easy and it wasn’t. In the past Armagh have seen the razor sharp edge of soul destroying disappointment. They have tasted defeat, but they were not deterred, they were not beaten. This year THEY WERE VICTORIOUS.
We caught up with coaches Andy Hughes & Colin Atkinson to ask them what promotion meant to the club & about next season: their interviews are below along with a complete review of all facets of this long established and proud club. We cover youth rugby, the history, the last few years and lots more, so read on and enjoy something very special in the City Of Armagh, and who knows!
One of the crunch games in this history ultimate league championship winning season was against Cooke Rugby Club and we managed to get a few minutes footage in the next video clip of that game which is next,
Another absolute stallwart of the club who has provided an immense amount to Armagh Rugby Club as Team Manager is John McNally, we were able to catch up with him at Armagh and he eminates club ethos, his interview is next ~
This feature covers a wide spectrum of the club and highlights the current postion, the immediate promotion winning past, the club history, the dynamic of success and aims to celebrate their immense achievements through pictures, intouch TV interviews, and more – just scroll down to enjoy a feast of rugby!
We can genuinely say that in the past few years this club has worked tirelessly, with an unquenchable thirst to achieve the results. They have played to their strengths and now they have took their chances, made chances where none existed and won all the right games.
The sense of pride that all the club members have in the squads who performed throughout the three sides is summed up now in the words of Eric Clarke, his interview is next
From the sides throughout the club the ethos has been one of success and it was excellent to catch up with Andrew Smith one of the squad to comment on an immense season for the I & II XV
The crawford Cup victory which Andrew alluded to above was a game that InTouch Rugby covered exclusively and below are the video highlights including priceless interviews with David Eakin, Mathew Steenson & Andrew Nesbitt as well as footage of the victory.
The extended squad across 3 teams is a winning formula and breeds a real sense of togetherness as they move into AIL RUGBY
The sense of vision is growing, and we caught up with Colin Cochrane to discuss the role of the III XV
The last 3-4 years have been a nail biting rollercoaster ride. But the 2010/2011 season was something different from the start. Armagh had an inner knowledge that this was their year. The learning curve of the last few seasons did not break them – IT MADE THEM! At the bottom of this page we have compiled links to all the stories and pictures charting the 2010/11 season just scroll to the bottom of this page to view them. It includes for example a video with coach Andy Hughes which was taken only games before ultimate victory was secured!
FAMILY & COMMUNITY IS IMPORTANT AT CLUB ARMAGH
The reality of family ties is very important within the club and coach Colin Atkinsons dad John Atkinson this seasons vice president comments on the family tradition within Armagh.
Now they will compete in AIL Rugby. These players are now semi-professional players. Thats the quality that exists within this club. The ethos of professionalism pervades it, from the superbly kitted out sides of awesome players now swelled by 17 new recruits to the immense committee of serious rugby business men. They all know about results, about passion, about being at the cutting edge and perhaps more importantly about the age old truisms that never change ~
COMMUNITY ~ LOYALTY ~ COMMITTMENT ~ HARD GRAFT ~ HONESTY ~ The abitlity to evolve, to learn from one’s mistakes, to accept what cannot be changed and to change what can be, there are more, and they are true of Armagh. ~ we caught up with Club President Andrew Nesbitt who will work ceaselessly and his interview is below:
On and off the pitch this knowledge will stand all the players in good stead throughout their lives. And when these players become the supporters they will instill this knowledge in the generation to come – Just as their supporters have passed it onto them.
But behind the scenes the machine that is Armagh has volunteers running the touchline, cleaning and keeping the club grounds and building in pristene condition, people such as Arlene who helps in various acitivites at the club and who has just celebrated her 50th birthday, we caught up with her to get her thoughts on being involved at Armagh RFC:
The youth system at Armagh is amongst the best in the country, superbly marshalled by Philip McCord, he comments below, in fact the youth system has produced last season the Nutty Krust championship winning side which Paul was delighted with as he will have helped many of the players get their grasp of this very complex game!
Along side this the local Royal School Of Armagh plays a vital role in the club and below is the now famous victory by RS Armagh in the 2010/11 season against Ballymena Academy which InTouch was on hand to cover.
We recently attended their summer cow pat bingo fun day to gather much need information on the history of the club and to interview some of the people behind the club and what came across was – community. The same as any rugby club in the land, but this one is functioning at the highest level. They talk, nothing is hidden, every man, woman and child is aware of the objectives and needs of the club.
They are meeting the change in finances head on, the club are singing from the same hymn sheet. There will not be the same local derbies next season, there will if they don’t change be a reduction in takings and eventhough not a single player is being paid the extra travelling will place an extra financial burden on the club and everyone in the club shares in this. But they just don’t think in these terms, the future is not a scary place with the right work and planning, the solutions to these challenges are there and PRO Ken Redpath comments below on meeting the future
These are proactive and imaginative people, they are already dealing with this. Noel Conn last years president is now 100% focused in a role that he has undertaken in the club for many years – Treasurer, but to talk to him is like talking to a man with the same enthusiasm as if he had only taken on the job! And such is the enthusiasm across the club ~ Below Noel Conn comments on his role as President last year and his up coming role in finance,
Players, friends, families, committees, the hive of activity across the club is immense. For the Cow Pat Bingo scores of players took to the markets and streets to sell tickets. The club is embracing the Armagh community and bringing people into the club who are not from the traditional rugby community. We were there and the cow pat bingo highlights are below
The success of rugby means that there is hardly a street in any town in Ulster that someone is not wearing an Ulster or Ireland Rugby top. Armagh are playing the best local rugby that you can watch in the whole county of Armagh, and its FREE so get down there and get involved.
Next season will be massive. With 17 new players on the books so far (including some big names) Armagh are leaving no stone unturned. The training has started already and there is total unity in the club to achieve more!
Indeed Armagh can be a stepping stone to some amazing futures, for example a proud son of Armagh rugby Club Willie Faloon comments below on playing for Ulster Rugby
Throughout the club professional memebers who have played at the club and now support the club are stepping forward to say how can i help, and below is the straight forward views of John Kingston – A winger in his day and another club stalwart George Knipe comments on a great day out at the club, and below that club stalwart John Lennon comment son entering AIL Rugby
Ladies Rugby is poised at Armagh rugby club to perhaps build again into one of the Ulster contenders, certainly the ladies involved have made their mark across Ulster – the passion for the game runs deep with the Ladies & coach Shirley Anne Donaldson comments on Ladies Rugby @ Armagh
But finally in the spirit of club rugby we finish with an interview with Arlene Faloon who encapsulates the spirit of the club – Thankyou Arlene for being such a good sport, her interview is below.