Deeside Rugby Football Club has decided to move to new playing facilities at Woodend, Banchory. At a recent Special General Meeting held at Woodend Barn, the membership voted decisively to enter into a lease agreement with Leys Estate to move to and use the newly constructed Woodend Playing fields. There was a good turnout of club members with both the junior and senior parts of the club well represented. During the meeting Alex Burnett of Leys Estate presented details of the new playing facilities. These include two full size rugby pitches and two smaller training pitches. These pitches have already been constructed and seeded. It is hoped that the pitches will be ready for use by September 2010 but great care will be taken to only use the pitches when they are fit to play on. Until then the club will continue to use existing playing options in the area.. Temporary changing facilities will be installed as a short term measure. In time, it is hoped to build a permanent clubhouse with changing facilities but this is some years in the future.
Acting club President John Colleran presented a review of the club’s business plan to the membership. Deeside has a well established senior team and a very successful junior section that is the foundation of the club. The club now coaches children from micro (age 5) through to under 18 level, and has formed links with both Aboyne and Banchory Academies where rugby is growing in popularity once again. This season has seen the club field U15, U16 & U18 sides which is a considerable achievement for a junior club in NE Scotland. The club is also in a sound financial position due to careful management and the financial support of the membership. A successful rugby club has to have an identity and key to this is having a home ground where all component parts of the club can come together to train, play and socialize. In recent times the club has had playing activities in a number of locations - this causes logistical problems, disjointed intra-club communication and can impact retaining and attracting players of all age groups. The proposed new pitch development in Banchory allows the club to bring all age groups from micro to senior level together in one place for training, playing and ultimately socialising. This will make the club more attractive to players of all ages, coaches and supporters, thus helping to grow the membership base and ensure the future sustainability of the club.
John Colleran commented “The club is at an exciting point in its history and has a unique opportunity afforded by the playing field development in Banchory to fulfil its vision. Importantly we must balance ambition for the club to grow and progress with future financial stability. The membership has voted to take this step and I look forward to working with everyone towards a successful future. It will mean more expenditure for the club but with the increased support of the membership I believe we can successfully develop the club at Woodend . The club cannot function without its volunteers at all levels but more helpers will be needed in the future in many areas.”
A lively and constructive discussion was held during which members had the chance to ask questions about the move. Outgoing Treasurer Derek Edge presented the financial details that underpin the club’s future plans. After the proposal was approved those present had an opportunity to inspect the current state of the pitches. Further negotiations with Leys Estate over the lease will now take place. At present, the club will retain the right to utilise the facilities on The Green in Aboyne – it will continue to support rugby at Aboyne Academy into the future.