Apologies for being a bit late this week, I am trying my best to ensure we get the news out at the same time but we’ve had an especially busy week, things are beginning to pick up pace as we start to see players return to training (in small, distanced groups), PPE orders arrive and focus turn to the 20/21 season preparation. However, before that, there is the small matter of the end of season awards!!!
The Emmys, it is not, neither is it the Brits or BAFTA’s, but to us here at Plymouth Albion, it is as close to a ‘Red Carpet’ event that the lockdown allows. If you have not yet seen it, tune in to our version of the Albi Oscars.
Congratulation to all the winners, respect to all players who were involved and a massive Thank You to our award sponsors. Chris and I dressed appropriately for the occasion with the players choosing a more relaxed approach to proceedings. Rugby is very much a social sport that embraces all sections of the community; however, it is also very much a game for the players, and it is only right that we celebrate their efforts and achievements.
In the modern world of digital technology, it is important that we keep up to speed with developments and broadcasting techniques. I feel we’ve come up trumps with the 2020 Award night production. Recording, broadcasting and sharing Albi’s exploits are becoming increasingly important and an area we will be looking to support and expand as part of our development plans.
On the topic of broadcasting and promoting the interests of our club, how good it is to have Chris Bentley in our team? He scrubbed up well to host the 2020 Awards night to give us just a flavour of his wit, humour and professional delivery. Indeed, Chris was hugely popular with the Exeter Chiefs corporate hospitality lounges where his legendary exploits informed, amused and entertained audiences for some seven seasons. Chiefs loss is certainly our gain as Bentos will be hosting our Corporate hospitality events next season. He will prove equally popular with us here in Plymouth offering that extra star-studded edge for Albion’s corporate hospitality audiences. Watch this space.
The reason we come together at Plymouth Albion is to support our team. At the end of the day, it is their performance on the field of play, that is the focus of all our effort. With this in mind, I am pleased to confirm that our playing squad for the new season is coming together nicely.
I reported last week that James Bish had joined us to head up our drive to be the fittest, fastest and strongest team in our league. Our newly appointed senior coach Damian is already actively talking with players preparing them with his strategies and plans for our success. I am now delighted to report that the following players have already pinned their colours to the mast as Albi men having either agreed terms or be in advanced talks for the new season.
Dan Pullinger, Will Norton, Koree Britton, Jamie Salter, Pete Ingoldsby, Pete Keanie, Scott Makepeace, Dan Collier, Dan Swain, Herbie Stupple, George Mills, Cam Setter, Olly Mulberry, Tom Putt, Seta Raumatica, Javiah Pohe, John Dawe, Josh Skelcey, Alex Ducker, Dan Powell and Connor Eastgate.
As a ‘Rookie MD’ I certainly had a baptism of fire holding the helm at Albi HQ. My belief and resolve remained rock-solid as we addressed may serious issues to navigate a path through some difficult challenges. Three years into the job and I find my belief and resolve to Make Albion Great Again is shared by the new, energetic and enthusiastic recruits to my executive team.
As we progressively move to the ‘New Normal,’ that will emerge after the Coronavirus shut down is in the rear-view mirror, out faith, resolve and belief in Plymouth and our club will once again surface keeping us up to speed and ahead of the game.
Bentos regularly reminds me that “If we don’t believe; we can’t expect others to believe in us.” He is a big man in every respect and his enthusiasm and influence are apparent throughout the club helping to build our confidence, strength and resolve to move onwards and upwards.
Faith and BELIEF! Now there is a message for us all. Our playing results at the end of this last season proved just what deep-rooted belief can achieve. Life is not always easy, indeed the faith, belief and resolve of our nation have been seriously challenged in the past 4 months.
In closing this week’s report, I would like to share the message of faith and an unshakable belief that we are moving forward. Coronavirus is receding and life will go on. To the wider Plymouth community, business, commerce and of course sports fans old and new, join us and BELIEVE – Together we can and will ‘Make Albion Great Again’