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“******STOP PRESS********** DEE APPOINT NEW COACHING TEAM*****************

Donaghadee RFC are delighted to announce that they have appointed Paul McKenzie and Stuart Hennessey as Joint Club Coaches for next season 2012/13. Following the success of the current season when the 1st XV won the Millar McCall Junior Cup and finished fourth in Qualifying One (hence qualifying for next season’s All Ireland Junior Cup) both Club Coach Ian Martindale & Assistant Coach John Blewitt felt the time was right to step down and let others take up the mantle of driving the Club forward and attempt to consolidate our stated aim of being one of the top Junior Clubs in Ulster. Those charged with sourcing suitable replacements were keen to appoint people who combined strong local and maybe Club links, were appropriately qualified and, above all, demonstrated a passion for both the local game and the Dee ethos. The Club is confident that the appointment of Paul & Stuart will go a long way to achieving those objectives and it is felt that their combined abilities will perfectly complement each other in the continued effort to both attain and maintain our goals.

Paul is 28 years of age and joined the Ulster Academy in 2004 before playing professionally for Ulster Rugby from 2006 to 2008 during which time he played in the Magners League and Heineken Cup as well as representing Ireland A in the Churchill Cup. From late 2008 until May 2011 Paul played for Exeter Chiefs 46 times scoring 25 tries across the Championship, Premiership, Amlin Challenge Cup and LV Cup. At the start of the current season he moved back home and has been playing for Dungannon in both the All Ireland and Ulster Leagues. Paul holds RFU Level 2 Certificate in Coaching and is currently studying for an MSc in Applied Sport & Exercise Psychology at UUJ. In addition to his coaching duties at the Club Paul also hopes to bring his not inconsiderable talents to the field of play.

Stuart is well known to Donaghadee having spent some seasons representing the 1st XV as a tight-head prop and, more recently, has been coaching the Club 2nd XV. Stuart is 32 years of age and a PE teacher by profession bringing a wealth of playing experience during a career where he also represented both Bangor and Ballynahinch in the All Ireland League and the Ulster Junior representative side. In addition Stuart holds the IRFU Level 1 Coaching Certificate, is an IRFU Associate Referee and holds coaching qualifications in both Mini and Tag Rugby disciplines.

It is anticipated that the new Coaches will be holding a Players Meeting in the not too distant future in order to meet all players, managers etc. and discuss their plans for the future and the incoming season in particular.

Donaghadee RFC would like to take this opportunity to welcome Paul & Stuart to their new positions within the Club and whilst wishing them every success assure them both of the wholehearted support of the players, members, alickadoos, supporters and the local community alike!!!

Pictured from left to right are incoming Dee Chairman Ronnie Porter, Paul McKenzie, Stuart Hennessey and outgoing Chairman Ian Fleming.”

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