Coming off a busy 2017 the club is taking its deep breath to prepare for the 2018 season.
Although we are not officially taking a break as we normally do through November, we have had many newer players along to training in the recent weeks and we are getting more and more enquiries every day from people wanting to take up the sport. This is encouraging with numbers of participants set to increase again going into 2018, training has had a certain buzz around and its certainly got something to do with the outlook going into the new year.
The new CAFL season is due to start off on the 13th of January at GHA Rugby Club but with so many newer players coming along a rethink may be in order looking at increasing the number of game days and possibly entering a new team into the competition. With the rules set to reflect the new AFL-X competition, being championed by the AFL as the way to play the sport on soccer sized fields, we will be locking in seven aside games, with games spaced two weeks apart. If we continue to attract as many newer players as recently there will be more women competing in the mixed league than ever before.
We are looking to participate in two – one-day cup tournaments early in the year. As with previous years we will be looking to field a team in the Haggis Cup tournament on April 14th, as always it should be an enjoyable day and a good warm-up for the start of the SARFL season. On March 24th we will be hoping to get a team together for the Leprechaun Cup in Belfast. This would be the first time the club competed at the tournament but by all accounts, it is a fantastic day out and great tournament.
Building from the official start of our pre-season in December Stephen Connor and his coaching staff will be putting the playing group through a lot of fitness work mixed into game play drills, with playing style, structure and tactics being a key focus from February to reinforce how we want to play football in SARFL and going forward.
Our annual race night was revamped this year and was a considerable success, thanks go to both Adam Jack and Robert McKinlay who put in a lot of hard work to make our essential fundraising event as entertaining as it was. A big push and effort will be made in 2018 to see as many people along to the night as possible with plans already being discussed as to how to make the night bigger again! Watch out for news on when this must-see night will be.
Our Sharks females did the club proud this year, cementing the club as one of the biggest women’s teams in the UK with 7sharks representing Great Britain at the International cup in Melbourne with the GB Swans. We will be looking to push forward with their success and try and organise some Sharks women’s games home and away against some of the other women’s teams in the UK.
Lastly with our sponsorship deal with TopMark Claims Management we currently have a local company designing our new playing kit, this will be ready for the start of the 2018 season!
Keep an eye out for more updates in the coming weeks with news on Memberships, merchandise and the coming CAFL fixtures!