As the year draws to a close, it is traditional to reflect on the previous 12 months and look forward to the promise of the forthcoming new year, writes the Oaklands Insider.
Chichester RFC’s first team have had an unbelievable 2013 with an impressive series of results and a remarkable home record. Only two games were lost during the year at Oaklands Park - one of which was against last season’s eventual champions East Grinstead.
The away form was not much worse, with just the four reverses. However, the standard of rugby in the league tells you something, when the record was not quite good enough for promotion last term.
Hope springs eternal and there is all to play for in 2014.
The second team are enjoying life in their new league and are finding the opposition more tricky to crack, which is exactly what everyone wanted. A competitive fixture list benefits the squad as it brings them closer to the level experienced by the premier team.
Similarly the third team are having a hard-fought season and have had quite a few losses by not very much, which must be frustrating to those involved.
The minis and juniors continue to thrive on the pitch and so far the pitches are holding up well with rainfall infrequent. However, the present playing fields continue to be used at their fullest capability and more grass is always welcome.
The new year promises to be eventful off the pitch. The club have announced plans to renovate the existing clubhouse at Oaklands Park. In doing so, the upstairs area will be transformed into a modern facility, akin to many of the other clubhouses in the area.
When the present clubhouse was constructed all those years ago, it was considered state-of-the-art and was the envy of many. As with most things, time has caught up with the old building and the club are crying out for a more functional base - creating more opportunity for clubhouse hire and greater attendance at functions, with more guests being able to be catered for.
I know the present committee are fully committed to the project and with the help of the membership and local community I am sure they will pull it off. Work is planned to commence in the spring.
Elsewhere, the European Cup dispute between the regions has, as anticipated, dragged on with no clear sign of an amicable agreement across all parties. Those with access to watch the recent European Cup action will probably agree that without participation from all countries, the competition is not the same cut and thrust.
Finally, everyone at Chichester RFC was delighted to hear that Kieran Low, who learned his trade at the club, was recently awarded his first cap for Scotland with a substitute’s appearance against Australia.
It was a joy to see him at the first-team match at Oaklands the following week, enjoying his day off with his friends at Chichester.
Happy New Year from all at Chichester RFC.