BALLYMONEY RFC players enter into the second week of pre-season training this week which continues on Tuesday and Thursday night for the 1st, 2nd 3rd and U19 players. Wednesday night training also continues for 4th and 5th XV squads. All nights start sharp at 7.30pm.
Last week saw a total of 60 Ballymoney players start the hard work of pre season and with a number of players returning from holidays this number is expect to exceed last years numbers of 80players.
Head Coach Jason Taggart commented: “The commitment from the players to improve themselves and learn is great. We have a lot of new players out at the club this year with a number of players moving up from the U19’s. Everyone is putting in 110% which is great to see. Neil Beddows is taking the backs and skills sessions and is bringing new ideas to training which the players are really responding too. We have our first friendly in 2 weeks time away to Ballyclare so we are starting to ramp this up to select a strong squad for that game”
Last year Ballymoney started an extra training night on a Wednesday night to meet the demand from players from the 3rd, 4th and 5th XV in the club who wanted to come out and get some structured fitness and improve their skills. The season like last year is taken by Jonny Hanna and he is joined this year by ex Ballymoney hooker Uel McDowell.
“I responded to a notice in the club last year looking coaches for youth in the club and decided to give it a go. Ballymoney helped me go through the coaching programmes of the Ulster Branch in the summer to give me the necessary knowledge. I came out last week to get a feel for the coaching and was impressed to see around 30 players from the 3rd 4th and 5th XV squads, which is more than some clubs have at their 1st XV training sessions. Their effort, skill and commitment was outstanding. They all enjoy the training and I have no doubt they will benefit from it once the season starts,” commented Uel.
This year sees a change in Captain of the 3rd XV as Neil Campbell who has lead the side well over the past number of years steps down and is replacement by young prop Graeth Rankin.
Neil stated: “I had captained the team the past number of years and we have developed an excellent team with a mixture of youth and experience. It wasn’t easy as last year it took a while for us to get into our rhythm, but with the team committing to training we were able to gel and went on a great unbeaten run to finish in the top four of the league and beaten narrowly in the semi final of the cup. Gareth was one of those young players last year who really dug deep and gained alot of respect from the whole team. He will bring a new youthful exuberance to not only the team but the club as a whole and offer an excellent link for players coming out of School or our U19’s to get into the team.”
There is still time if you wish to come out to training. Whether you are a current player, new to the area or a pass player wishing to get into game again feel free to contact website about more information or come out to training either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday at 7.30pm where you will be made most welcome.
There is an extra night of training week as players from all teams from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, U19’s will be out on Friday night at 7.30pm for a fun night of touch rugby followed by a BBQ and disco. This will be a great night for players from all teams to get together and also for any new players who wish to come out.
The fixtures for next season will be finalised this week and will be posted on the website. All games are played to start on the 1st September. Keep an eye her e for more information or review our website.