It’s been a very challenging year for the Club, both on and off the field during the 2022-23 season.
On the field:
We had a poor start to the season for our 1st XV losing the first six matches albeit gaining a few bonus points. Our wins at home against Blaydon and Wharfedale set us off on a strong run of form with notable wins against Tynedale and away at Chester, a superb winning performance against Hull Ionians 33-17 and the humbling of Rotherham in an absolute cracker 39-27. These special performances secured our position as a Level 4, National 2 North team. Well done to everyone involved, a great effort and a memorable season.
Talking of great efforts, following the pandemic, we were unable to field a Falcons (2nd XV) side in the 2021-22 season due to a lack of players. Thanks to the commitment and support of Gavin Rhodes, Darren Nielly, Joe Shiel and George Hinchcliff, the Club have managed to field a Falcons and an ‘A’ Team (3rd XV) on numerous occasions throughout last season. A fantastic achievement, well done all.
The Age Grade, which, of course now includes Michael Stancliffe’s Academy (U18’s), have all had a very strong season under the overall guidance of Age Grade Chair, Tracy Davis. Special mentions must go to our U16’s, and their Head Coach, Steve Lynch, who together, have won the Yorkshire Cup defeating Doncaster Knights 27-7. Also congratulations go to our U14’s who are the Yorkshire Cup Asia Group winners 2023, under joint Head Coaches, Richard Wareham and Shaun Hayes, defeating Wharfedale in a closely fought match 14-10. Great stuff lads.
Yet again, the organisation of the Mini and Junior festivals was impeccable and were rapturously received from all the visiting clubs. It really is a great sight to see, and the commitment and quality of the coaches and managers really bodes well. They are after all, the future of the Club.
Jess Bunyard’s development with the Women’s and Girls rugby continues to flourish and this past season has seen a number of matches being played and I’m sure they can’t wait to start again next season. Well done to all concerned.
Finally, at the end of this season, we say “Au Revoir” to our Director of Rugby, Gareth (Gaz) Lewis. Gaz has been our head Coach for 10 years with over 250 matches in charge. Winning two promotions to National 2 North, the second one with a 100% record. He also presided over our best ever position of 4th in the N2N League table. With all these great achievements and memories we wish him all the very best for his next adventure.
Well done Gaz and thank you very much for everything you’ve done for our Club.
Don’t be a stranger, there’ll always be a pint waiting for you at the bar.
Off the field:
A number of unexpected events have occurred throughout the year bringing additional challenge. These include:
- LCMT lost the KAL tenancy, this has certainly put the Club on the back foot financially
- The energy costs have risen in the region of 40% per annum
- Our lift broke down and required repairing at a not insignificant cost
- Additional cost for the new stairs foundations due to the high water table
- Revenue losses due to the Astro-turf not being available for much of the winter.
However, on a positive note:
- The 3G pitch has been completed and is in full use thanks to the insurance claim and a special donation from the LCMT. Bookings are expected to improve throughout next year and we have an agreement with Honley Junior Football Club for 10 hours per week.
- The LED floodlighting has been installed on the 3G using a grant from Kirklees, Our Space.
- The ‘Asset Development Loan’ projects (Toilets, Car parks, Wade Stand seating and flooring) have been completed with the exception of the Stairs. We await the railings and glass panels, hopefully in readiness for the wedding and party season.
I am sure you will all agree, we now have facilities at our Club that are second to none in the area. However, these facilities must be constantly maintained and the prompt payment of your membership helps with this enormously.
You can also help the Club and win yourself cash prizes in the process by joining our relaunched 200 Club prize draw. Further details on this can be found on the 200 Club page.
Our Club Staff continue to work hard on the Clubs behalf. General Manager, Stuart and his team; Nicola, Lucy, Mark, Martin, Lee, Almaz, Yann and of course, all our hard working bar staff. Thank you all for your hard work and patience each year.
I can’t not mention our fantastic Lockwood Volunteers, who come down to the Club and help out every Tuesday (and other days as well when needed). They are a friendly bunch and are still looking to swell their ranks. So if you have the time, come down and help out. It’s fun.
Major dates for your diaries are for our second “LockFest” (Beer, Music, and Food Festival) on July 7th, 8th and 9th. We will again have 40+ cask beers on hand plus lager, cider and prosecco as well as numerous Bands throughout the weekend. Volunteers from our membership are essential for the smooth running of the event. So, if you can spare a few hours, get in touch with Stuart and register your support. Come down and enjoy a great summer bash. Buy you tickets on-line at: www.huddersfieldrugby.com/shop
Now for your Club subscriptions. Details of your membership application, full benefits and costs are set out on the membership form (Click link to download). To enable you to renew automatically or spread the cost of membership we offer payment by annual or monthly direct debit which is very simple to set up and access. Click on the appropriate link from our membership page on our website.
As always, our members are the life blood of our Club, so please help by paying your subscriptions as soon as you possibly can.
Mark H Birch
Chairman, Huddersfield RUFC
YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE DUE ON THE 1st JUNE 2023