River Rats reflect on another outstanding year

October 29, 2012

Once more the Gwydir rugby club has outshone itself and what a year it has been. We started out strong with the trip over to Kempsey and what a fantastic way to start the season. It was a great trip that involved many families and a good group of players. It was the start of a great season.

We saw Jason Lewis take the lead and become coach. We had a large influx of new players and we retained the core of the previous year’s guys as well. We stood our ground on several issues without belittling the club or the game and we offered a full season of football for the players who made the commitment to play for this great club.

They in return took us through a whirlwind year that saw them become Minor premiers and take us into the Grand Final once more. 2 years in competition and we have played in 2 Grand Finals this is no small achievement in itself. We had the NERU competition recognise one of our players in Jess Rogers as best and fairest for the season and we have a club that is recognised as one of the most sociable and well presented in the competition that each and every other club is now following our example and attempting to emulate our philosophy of presenting a team that looks like a team and acts like a team.

None of this is possible without sponsors or a great committee who are prepared to do the hard yards and work tirelessly behind the scenes. A committee does this work not for recognition but because they actually want to. They want to see the club be successful, they want to see their efforts rewarded by how the team and the club presents itself and once more the Gwydir Rugby Club has returned those dividends to the committee and the sponsors three fold.

It would be remiss of me not to thank the committee and workers for 2012. Glenda has once more done a fantastic job of putting up with me and making sure all the clubs records are up to date and the t’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted. She wore many hats this year and I was pleased that the club recognised this and she was awarded the clubman of the year it was well deserved.

The rest of the committee; David Brown, Jayne Roberts, Bec Mack, Helen Thomas, Tracey Rigby, Ian Armstrong, Joe Gibson, Bill Goldthorpe and our Patron Ken Holden have all done a wonderful job this year. They have given up a large amount of their own individual time to make this club function. Well done guys and gals.

The team Rep Peter Kennedy worked tirelessly and under a lot of strain he attended 99% of the games and trainings; he did his knee in during the season but still gave his best I hope you will be around next year well done Pete and thank you.

Jason Lewis coached the players throughout the season and did a fantastic job of getting us through to the Grand Final. It is my understanding that he has put his hand up to coach again next year and as a club I think this is great news.

There are a lot of wives, girlfriends and one or two mums who also do a large amount of work behind the scenes, they help in the canteen they sell tickets they follow and support the team at all the games. They are as much a part of this club as we are and I would like to thank them for this, and hopefully their ongoing support.

We are a family orientated club and that was never more evident than the BBQ in the park. I derived a lot of pleasure from just seeing the kids and all the club members having a great time and enjoying themselves. There is a lot of friendship evident and this is why we are such a successful club. Everybody looks out for each other.

We have done what the shire is still trying to do. The club has brought the whole shire into one. We have players and supporters from all areas within and outside of the shire coming and joining this club because they want to. Because they see we are pushing for nothing other that to utilize a great oval and give our guys the opportunity to play a game of football. We look after our players and supporters and we are financially secure.

I foresee the future of this Club as very secure, I have been approached by several sponsors who have stated they wish to continue with their sponsorship and there has been other businesses approach me to find out how they can come on board. This bodes well for the on coming season and with the ongoing support from the committee, sponsors, players and supporters we have everything to look forward to.

As a club we still have many challenges ahead of us and I feel we can continue to be successful and meet these obstacles head on. I know I have failed to thank everyone I apologise for this and it was not intentional I am only human and we all make mistakes. I just hope that 2013 instead of being the year of the snake can be the year of the Rat and we bring home the Major premiership.

The AGM has been held and we have another top committee volunteering for next year they have committed the club to having 2 grades (2nd and 3rd) and we will really push for this to be successful so all players who are intending or wish to find out more about next year stay tuned and have a wonderful and safe Christmas.

Thanks to our sponsors once more for without you there is no Rugby.

Tex Wright
Gwydir Rugby

The Gwydir River Rats players and officials:
[Click on the image to enlarge.]

Gwydir River Rats 2012
Back row, from left, Tex Wright, Peter Kennedy, Patrick Anderson, Saul Standerwick, Jamie Craddock, Andrew Woollett, Mick Wade, Dan Coulton, Jon Alliston,Joe Gibson, Sean Campbell, Daniel Bavister, David Brown, Ted Irwin, Gerrard Sherman, Ben Roberts, Cameron Lewis, Mitch Rigby, Nic Hutton, Chris Thomas. Front row: Ian Armstrong, Glenda Wright, Taylor Wright, Jason Lewis (Coach), Will Johnstone, Jesse Rogers, Travis Allen, Andrew Kennedy, Clayton Rigby, Angus Grant, Brodie Rigby.