On behalf of all the members, I would like to extend a warm Corinthian welcome to everyone who visits Cloonacauneen, in what is an exciting year for all Corinthians as we emabark on our first season playing in Division 1B AIL.
It is my great honour and priviledge to be president of our great club. Having been a player, coach from 8's to 18's, and now on committee, I am fully aware of the huge voluntary effort that is put in by so many people, both now and in the past, to create this proud club. We are a club, not a team, and the contribution made by so many wonderful people over the 80 years of our existence has ensured that we are founded on solid amateur club values that continue today. It is important to acknowledge the great voluntary effort put in by so many members week in week out that ensure we continue to survive and thrive in what is a very challenging environment. Thank you for your continuing support and contribution, you are what makes our club strong.
What a season we had last year in the AIL under the expert guidance of our Head Coach Phil Pretorious, Forwards Coach Pat Cunningham and the Management Team of Ian Hutchinson, Tom Glynn and Kenneth Casburn. Will we ever forget our trip to UCC when promotion was finally achieved and celebrated with a pitch invasion by the busloads of Corinthians who travelled! This season will bring new challenges, and maybe the same excitement levels won't be possible, but we continue to dream! What will be the case I am certain, is that we will strive to play exciting open rugby and you will be entertained. Every good wish to all the players, coaches and management who will be involved this year, I hope you enjoy your rugby, avoid injury, and play to your best potential.
Similarly, I wish every player, coach, and manager involved in all the Corinthian Teams enjoyment, health and success in the season ahead. We are very proud of all our players, and ask that you wear the Corinthian jersey with the pride.
It is important also to recognise the vital importance played in our great club by all the voluntary members who make such a vital contribution to the success of the club both on and off the pitch. You will get a flavour of what makes this club so strong, by reading the various reports contained in this Yearbook, and I encourage you to do so. I thank them for their energy and enthusiasm, because without their passion to make things better for all our members, now and in the future we would not progress.
This season we are delighted to welcome so many new clubs to Cloonacauneen who have made major contributions to the improvement of Irish Rugby over the years including Shannon; Terenure; Malone; Trinity; Blackrock; Dungannon; Ul Bohs; Belfast Harlequins and my own "home" club Buccaneers. We extend a very warm Corinthian welcome to all your supporters, players and alikadoos. We hope you come to enjoy the pints, and leave happy but without the points!
Finally, we are an amateur club, but with significant overheads as we strive to maintain and improve the facilities for all our members. Fundraising is always a challenge, and probably the most difficult aspect of being involved on any committee. Please understand the need for us to ask you for your support, and also that there is no personal benefit for the person asking, because we will be asking! It is for the benefit of your club and it's members, the players are playing for the love of the game and the jersey. We are very fortunate to have probably the longest running sponsorship in club rugby, and are once again delighted to express our sincere thanks to Busker Brownes our very generous main sponsor. Also, we thank those who sponsor ads; hoardings; etc, and also to you for paying your annual subscription. This financial support is essential if we are continue to grow and thrive. Please continue to support all our sponsors as they deserve it.
I am very excited about the season ahead for all of us, it may not be smooth, but it will be enjoyable. I hope to meet all our members, supporters and many new visitors in Cloonacuaneen as the season unfolds.
Once a Corinthian, always a Corinthian.