As another season finally comes to an end, myself and the squad would firstly like to thank all the loyal supporters of the Drovers, who have followed us up and down the country all season; we truly appreciate having you there on the touchlines and in the stands cheering us on.
Its been yet another successful season, we have once again punched above our weight competing with the big spenders of the league like Merthyr, Pontypridd, the Quins and RGC. A bonus point win this Saturday would take us into 2nd position and that is something we can be very proud of as a group of players and coaches. We are a very small squad in comparison to some of the other Premiership clubs and we have been hit by some unlucky injuries to key players throughout the season. However, this has given the younger and less experienced players of the squad an opportunity to shine, and I think those boys have really taken their chance and developed immensely as the year has gone on.
Losing in the semi-final of the Welsh Cup was a hard pill to swallow, mainly due to our performance. We didn’t play anywhere near our best, Newport played better and took their chances. It would have been another great day for the club to have played Merthyr in the final, and with a fully fit team I really do think we could have lifted the Cup for the third time. It is definitely something we are aiming for next year already.
There have been some excellent results for us this season; beating Cross Keys away on a Wednesday night followed by winning comfortably at Sardis Road a few days later particularly stands out, but my favourite win of the season has to be beating Carmarthen Quins at home a fortnight ago in the most physically demanding game I certainly have been involved in.
Credit goes to Dave, Ian and Ruth for keeping us as fit and healthy as possible throughout this long season. Our boys are never forced to play with injuries but insist on playing week in week out, they love playing for the club and for each other. Berian Watkins has been playing every week since December with two swollen ankles, Stuart Worall has broken his nose every game for the last 6 games and Scrappy has been playing with a nasty shoulder injury since Bedwas away! In fact Rhodri Jones’ season should probably have ended back in March with the amount of knocks he’s had, and I really don’t know how Jack Jones continues to walk on his two feet with all the tackles and carries he makes every game! The boys have been warriors, and have put their bodies on the line week after week; it’s been the highlight of my career to be their captain this year and am proud of the team we have become.
Big thanks again to our coaching staff, Euros, Potts, Simon, Lloydy and Sam. Not forgetting our main man and kit man Jock and his apprentice and Team Manager Cantona!
It’s with regret that we say goodbye to a few key players this season. Greg Cunniffe and Duane Eager leave to join another Premiership team, they have been great players for us and big characters in the squad over the past few years and will be greatly missed, and we wish them all the best. Rumour has it that Bryn Griffiths will be retiring (again) at the end of the season... however having read Paul O’Connell’s autobiography he now thinks there’s another 3 years left in him!
We are looking forward to Saturday’s match against Llanelli and are excited to share a few beers with our supporters in the evening’s presentation, and celebrate another great season for Llandovery RFC