Under 12s Season Review 2019/20

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I’ll start with the bad news. It seems strange looking back at a Season robbed of its usual climax. As a squad we invariably save our best until last, and with so much training and game-time lost this winter due to frost, heavy rain, high winds and flooding we were looking forward to an action-packed spring on what we hoped would be firm, fast pitches. Unfortunately, as you all know, Covid 19 struck before the mud relinquished its grip. With our tour, the May Ball, our last Luctonians Anglo-Welsh festival, several visiting touring teams and a couple of tournaments to look forward to, it promised to be a particularly memorable spring. Sadly, it wasn’t to be.

There has been plenty of good news too! We have benefited from a large, committed, and growing group of volunteers including a manager, 6 coaches, our club Safeguarding Officer/ Minis Tour organizer and a team of first-aiders. As for the players, despite losing our girls and a couple of keen footballers at the end of last season we’ve maintained a squad of close to 30 players, with some promising new arrivals. Most of our fixtures this season involved enough players to field two full teams, often with subs. A lot of time and effort was spent trying to ensure that sufficient game-time, of an appropriate standard, was available to all of our players, though nature did unravel our plans far too often.

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I’m very grateful to Kirstyn Downes-Hopkins and our age-group volunteers for their support with trying to organise suitable fixtures, and for the flexibility and patience of our parents and players. At times drastic last-minute changes were needed in an attempt to get some rugby played, though too-often this season nature had the last say!

The rugby that DID happen included enjoyable and competitive outings in tournaments at Worcester and Bromsgrove, plus hard-faught encounters with most of our local rivals, and an impressive try-fest away at DK after New Year. The shortened season, and the loss of so many training sessions and matches due to the weather, has limited what we had hoped to achieve, but I hope this has only made us hungrier for next season!

Bogged down at Bromsgrove – Click to enlarge

The very last, mud-caked weekend of the truncated season saw us send a squad of 13 to a festival at Bromsgrove, whilst a further 13 played Shrewsbury and part of Ledbury’s squad at home. We saw good, competitive play home and away, and although it wasn’t how we wanted the season to end, it was at least rewarding to finish on a really good day of rugby for virtually the whole squad. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait too long for the next one!

I must finish with a thank-you to those brilliant volunteers I mentioned. Myself, Charlie Turner, Mark Jones, and Phil Edwards were joined as coaches by Conor Geraghty from our Senior Squad, and Mark Evans. Tim Smallwood has continued as Manager, with Serah Anderson-Mahoney, Sarah Chilman and Phil Richards providing first aid. And I ought to mention Lou Peruffo, who is not only the club Safeguarding Officer, but took on the role of organising the sadly-cancelled Minis Tour this year. Thanks again for all your support!

Steve Peruffo
Lead Coach, Lucs U12s


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