It’s my pleasure to welcome players, coaches, officials, sponsors, supporters and opponents to the 2018-19 season. Our return to the South-West Premier Division gives us the opportunity to engage in some new rivalries and to re-new some old ones. We welcome all our visitors.
Last season was one of huge progress for us. The highlight was our 1st XV achieving promotion. This was hugely satisfying for our players, coaches and supporters, after coming so close the previous season. We pride ourselves on being an amateur club with a professional attitude; it’s great to see that pay off on and off the field.
We are one of the few clubs in the local area to field three senior XVs regularly. 36 players represented our 1st XV last season, showing the competition for places that exists at the elite level. No fewer than 85 players turned out for our 3rd XV, showing the opportunity that we provide for participation as a true community club. The success of our 4th/Veterans side in the Combination Minor Cup is proof of the depth that exists throughout the Club.
Our youth section continues to go from strength to strength, with over 350 juniors regularly playing contact rugby and 250 + children playing Tag rugby on a Sunday. The County Cup win by our Under 15s, final for our Under 16s and plate-final for our Colts demonstrate the effort and skill of the players and coaches.
We continue to provide the opportunity for players to advance to the highest level. We’re very proud that three of our players represented Gloucestershire at senior level and that we are strongly represented in the Gloucestershire Under 20s and the Gloucester Rugby Player Development Groups. Issac Marsh was selected in the England under 17’s squad which is a significant achievement. We are delighted that Will Safe, an ex-junior and now 1st XV skills coach, has signed a full-time professional contract with Gloucester, Jake Morris & Ewan Fenley have also been awarded Senior Academy contracts. It was fantastic to see 4 Old pats players representing Gloucester Rugby in the Premiership 7’s with all 4 playing in the plate final!
Lots of work has gone into preparing for the new season. This gives us great optimism. Let’s hope that the efforts of everyone involved are repaid by some successful and enjoyable rugby.
Let’s also recognise the hard work of those who contribute off the pitch: whether you’re a coach, touch judge, committee person, work behind the bar or in the kitchen, help our juniors or play a part in our social activities, your contribution is greatly valued.
Our players represent the Old Patesians with enthusiasm, effort and a great spirit. Please give them your whole-hearted support; and please come back to Everest Road regularly.
Allez les Pats!
President Old Patesians RFC