Donaghadee Embrace Their 125th Season Of Rugby

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Donaghadee Rugby Club have now confirmed the appointment of Coaches/Captains and Team Managers for the season 2010/11. Former Ulster and Irish international Jimmy McCoy will take over as 1st xv coach from Ian Martindale who is standing down after three years in charge.

McCoy will bring a wealth of Club and International experience to his role from his early days at Portora/Enniskillen/Dungannon/Bangor and Donaghadee.

Martindale’s squad narrowly missed out on promotion to Qualifying One with McCoy hoping to go one step further in the clubs upcoming 125th Anniversary season.

Last season’s club Captain Andy Monson is stepping into the role of assistant coach to McCoy as backs coach. Again Monson brings considerable experience from his School days at Campbell College/Dundee University to his days playing in New Zealand and Canada. It was during his three years at Ballymena that Monson won three senior cup medals/Two senior league titles and an All Ireland League title. After his return to Donaghadee he played for the Ulster Juniors/ Letterkenny before returning to his home club the Dee.

Chris Good who took over the Captaincy of the 1st xv from the injured Andy Monson last season will continue as the 1st xv Captain. Again Goods front row experience from his playing days at Instonians alongside Chris Schofield provided the Dee with a formidable front row unit. The ever present Peter Matthews will continue in his role as 1st xv Team Manager.

The 2nd xv have appointed Davy Thompson and Stevie Marshall as the team coaches, with that Dee talisman Andrew Dunn taking over the Captaincy role. Once again Ian Fleming has agreed to take on the important role of Team Manager.

Peter McQuillan has been appointed as Captain of the Dee 3rd xv.
George Millar has been appointed Chairman of the clubs playing committee.

Donaghadee 1st xv will commence their 125th Anniversary season with a prestige opening fixture against an Ulster Presidents fifteen on Saturday the 21st August at Donaldson Park. For the young Dee squad this match will allow this talented squad of players to test themselves against some of Ulster’s up and coming talent. It has been a challenging period for the Dee management as the club has had to work extremely hard to retain several of its most talented players from the approaches of Senior Clubs. The clubs intention is to strengthen its playing squad before the commencement of pre season training. A strong second fifteen is a necessary requirement to back up the efforts of the first fifteen to achieve its goal of promotion. New players are most welcome at this traditionally sociable and friendly club.

Details will be finalised shortly of the clubs appointments at Mini Level, with further efforts being made to reintroduce Youth rugby to the club. Through the efforts of the Ulster Branch Development Coaches in North Down and the Ards Peninsula the club will redouble its objective to put in place a playing structure to cater for players at Under 13/15/17/19 level. To achieve this objective the club has identified potential coaches who will perform this important role.
With the support of parents and players the club can achieve its goal. Further details will follow.
Annual Club Dinner and Awards for 2009/10
A well attended evening brought to a close a season that promised so much with the 1st xv coming up short of bringing silverware to the club. M.C. for the evening Paul Blewitt made sure that guests and members were treated to an evening of humour led by himself, Guest Speaker Michael Mclean and Jimmy McCoy with Ulster Branch Past President John Boyd replying on behalf of the Ulster Branch.

Chairman David Monson then presented the following awards.
Pier 36 – players, player of the season – Chris Hamilton.

Supporters player of the season – Richard Millar. Clubs top try scorer with 17 tries and a total of 265 points scored during the season for the 1st xv.

Pier 36 – player of the month for March – Richard Martindale

Pier 36 – player of the month for April – Alastair Lockhart

Honorary plaques for season 2009/10
1st xv – player award – Gavin Gordon. Work commitments have necessitated this popular club player having to leave the Donaghadee area after three years and return to London. We wish Gavin and his family well for the future.

2nd xv – player award – Gavin Prue.

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