Chard RFC all set for another new campaign

PUBLISHED: 11:55 12 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:55 12 August 2016

Chard ladies taking on Withycombe ladies

Chard ladies taking on Withycombe ladies

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When the season begins Chard Rugby Club will have been in existence for 140 years and it is a club which is well established in the town and is at the centre of the community in many different ways be it on or off the field, writes Glyn Hughes.

Chard are now running 18 teams from under sevens up to the four senor sides that turn out on Saturday afternoons.

The senior sides (1st xv, 2nd xv, 3rd xv and colts ) are well into their preparations for the new season with training taking place on Tuesdays and Thursdays under the direction of player/coach Simon Jenkins and director of rugby Steve Broome.

The 1st xv will be captained by flanker Ryan Helliar, the 2nd xv by Billy Biss and Bill Brookes and the 3rd xv will be in the capable hands of club stalwart Stuart Gold.

Last year the club had an outstanding Colts team (under 18)who were the Somerset Colts league winners and their excellent coach Duncan Nicholls is moving on as coach to the 2nd xv and will be bringing many of his team through to senior rugby. This will undoubtedly prove to of great benefit to the club in both the short and long term

In addition to the most important and main task of bringing on local players there is the possibility of adding to playing numbers by continuing to build on links that the club has established with overseas sides over the years which could possibly result in a couple of new faces.

The club have had to say good bye to fly half Chad Northcott as the Kiwi has moved on to pastures new in Canada. Before leaving Chad was instrumental in getting some sevens rugby going at the club during the summer and got his squad of youngsters involved in the south west sevens at Exeter and also in a competition at Yeovil. The team lost narrowly in the final at Sandy Park in the final of their category at Exeter.

The club are always on the lookout for new players of all abilities whether they want to play in the 3rds or have a desire to test themselves at South West one level which is an excellent standard of rugby. Anyone interested can contact Steve Broome on 07590 334659

The senior teams have pre season matches against Salisbury at home on 20th August, and away against Sidmouth on the 27th August. On the 27th the 3rds have a pre season game away against Yeovil 3rds

Last year the club made a big effort to get ladies/girls rugby off the ground at Chard and ran several sides including under 13, under 15, and ladies. The club are keen to build on the foundations laid last season and to get things underway this year they are holding a girls and ladies recruitment day on Monday 29th August between 11am and 3 pm. The day will consist of coaching sessions, touch rugby and teams games which will be followed with a BBQ. This is open to any girls or ladies from year seven age to adult.

The club have not been idle during the off season and as well as social events such as the tug of war weekend , The Wurzels concert and sevens rugby the club have again worked hard to improve their facilities particularly in relation to the ground. Following a visit from the head grounds man at Twickenham the club were given a grant of £2000 towards improvements at Crewkerne Road where in addition to the normal weeding and seeding the whole ground was mole drained.

A substantial amount has also been spent on the main ground where the drainage has been improved with sanding and verti draining.

Local geology does not do sports grounds any favours in the Chard area so it is vital that this work is carried out during every close season. The club in some ways is a victim of its own success in that they have to somehow cope with all their teams and training taking place on three pitches! Fortunately the club continues to have an excellent relationship with neighbouring Holyrood School which means that the club and school have a flexible arrangement in terms of use of each other facilities.

In the recent past big changes for the better have occurred at the main ground which have included amongst other things newly refurbished floodlights , a covered enclosure, updated shower toilet and changing facilities as well the transformation of the clubhouse which has become a very desirable place to hire for a wide range of events .

The club will continue to improve the main ground as finances allow but they are also turning their attention to Crewkerne Road where the Spartan facilities need to be improved and developed.

Chard is a great club which extends a welcome to the whole community in the Town

It will continue to look forward and not back .

It owes a great deal of thanks to all those who give up their time week after week to keep the club running and to the generosity of sponsors who provide the club with much needed financial assistance.

The club would be keen to hear from any organisation or individuals out there who would be prepared to support the club financially or in any other way. Please contact the Chairman Gavin Smillie on 07772 225263.

It is possibly to keep up to date with the club by logging on to the club website.

www.pitchero.com/clubs/chardrfc as well as Face book and Twitter.


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