President's Message

It's a great honour to represent Wanderers FC as President for 2023/24 season following my father Michael 40 years later 1983/84 season and brother Andy 2016/17.

I extend a warm Wanderers welcome to all our members and guests to both Merrion Rd and Lansdowne Rd whether for rugby or social events.

I take over from Neil Metchette whose father Frank was also president in 1982/83 to continue a Wanderers family tradition.

I look forward to a busy season on the pitch where our 1st XV will compete in Division 2B in the All Ireland League and I wish all the best to Eoin Sheriff and his coaching team. I welcome Conor O'Brien assistant coach along with Shane Galvin team manager also to Geoff Mullen and all the senior squad and hopefully we make the promotion playoff next April.

Junior Rugby is a very important part if often neglected part of the club and with the help of Declan Donnelly, John Mockler and their team the 2nd team will have a good season.

The 3rd XV also U23s are the link to the Senior squad and very important to the development of young players under coach Ger O'Reilly assisted by Sean Goodburn (senior player) and managed by Dan Kenny.

Under 20s rugby is the future of the club and we look forward to a repeat of last season where under Brian Collins and Gavin Maguire they had a successful season only to be beaten by eventual winners Terenure. This season Johnny Holmes is added to the coaching ticket.

Mini and youth rugby continues to grow under the guidance of Jim Doddy and Dermot Rafter and we also have a growing girls section who went on a successful surfing and rugby weekend to Sligo.

It is great to see Leinster's Ben Brownlee and Rob Russell regularly assisting at training and to maintain the link with past players.

Our U18s contested 2 finals last season winning one of them and they have a good connection with the senior side providing ball boys at the home AIL games and the girls do the same for the women's team.

Wishing all the mini and youth players and coaches all the best for the season and congratulations to our U18s who represented Ireland in the touch European championships including Henry Ferguson and Sam Neely collecting a European bronze medal.

2023 is a very important year for women's rugby in Wanderers as they celebrate their 10th anniversary. During that time they've become a very important part of the club playing some good rugby and getting involved in the social fabric of the club along with important involvement in the running of the club at executive level.

I wish new captain Nicole Landy along with coach Ciara Murray and long standing manager Dave Neville all the best for the season and hopefully promotion to Division 3 we'll support you all the way.

Congratulations to Emmet O'Rafferty on becoming Wanderers latest International after being awarded his Cap for playing against Fiji in 1976. It's hard to believe today that caps weren't awarded at the time.

The club website has badly needed an upgrade and thanks to the hard work of Peter Noble and Jessica Kickham this work has been completed. Going forward it will be updated regularly with accurate information regarding fixtures and results, team updates and club news. It has a new look and is more user friendly.

The recent addition of the new gym facility is an exciting development for players and other members to use. Great progress is being made on the new all weather pitch which will make huge a improvement in Match scheduling and training across the Club. This is been overseen by Declan O'Brien and the Development Committee under John Fitzpatrick.

Club rugby is an amateur game and depends largely on volunteers who are in short supply and I offer a special thanks to all who make this great club work. Team managers coaches and administrators at all levels especially the Executive Committee Chair Paul Ryan, Secretary Eoghan Nihill, Treasurer Jamie O'Hanlon, Rugby Allen Brownlee, IRFU Joe McDermott, Communications Jessica Kickham, Youth Rugby Dermot Rafter, Vice President Martin Murphy, Junior Vice President Jim Doddy, Club Brochure and Social Greg Hopkins, Women's rugby and assistant Secretary Edel Nolan. And all others who help out with the running of the club:

Club ManagerFergus Moriarty
Club AdministratorDenise Holmes
Club FacilitiesDeclan O'Brien
Club PhysioFionn Daly
SubscriptionsLiam Mc Dermott &
Therese Hunt
WebsitePeter Noble
GroundsMick Finlay

Finally I would like to thank the Club Sponsors for their loyal support over the years and I look forward to meeting many of you during the season.

Paul Whelan,
President 2023/24


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