Thursday 18 December 2014

President's Blog - 18 December 2014

We didn't get the result we expected last Saturday at Nailacre, but we did score four tries, got a bonus point and moved off the bottom of the Premiership for the first time this season, all be it on points difference.

We had our opportunities and didn't take them: a missed line out here, missed couple of line outs there, indifferent kicking from hand to put us in better places and no successful goal kicks didn't help.

That was tempered in a small way by the 2nd XV. After having to move their game to Nailacre because the collapsing wall at RP took out our sub-station leaving us with no power, the Tways took Nails 2nds, the league leaders, to the cleaners, 61-0. I hear from the coaches that all XV played exceptional rugby. A good end to their league year - well done.

We now move into a break from league rugby until 10 January next year, when we have the pleasure of home games against Ayr 1st and 2nd XVs.

Before then we have a home 2nd XV Edinburgh League Cup game against Currie 2nds on Saturday, the Accies XV v Co-ops on Monday 29 December and a 3rd round BT Cup game against Hawick on 3 January 2015.

All three games will have early kick offs: 1pm this week and1.30pm for the Co-ops and Hawick games. The first two because we are at the shortest day again and to avoid a 'gloomy' finish, the latter game because extra time will be needed if the scores are level at the end of normal time.

What a change to the views we see when we go past Raeburn Place with 80% of the wall now fallen down. The City of Edinburgh Council has been well apprised of the dangers of the state of the wall over some time. The wall has been the Council's responsibility for many years after a deal was done between the Academical Club, the Grange & Academical Trust and CEC to widen Comely Bank.

The most recent collapse of some 60 metres last Thursday evening took out our electricity distribution board and the power to the clubhouse and changing rooms. Consequently our game last Saturday had to be moved away and various training sessions moved as well.

We were back on line with power as of Tuesday and a bill will wing its way to CEC for repairs. We await confirmation from CEC about their proposals for temporary screening and a security fence. In the meantime, we would again request that people do not use the car park.

It's customary at this time of the year to look back and make some wishes.

Looking back 'off the field' our situation hasn’t been helped by the consequences of the Champions of Tennis liquidation, which left us with all sorts of problems to resolve, including a giant structure on the 2nd XV pitch, a large tarpaulin roof laced with 1" thick metal cables dumped on the grass and a bomb site of a pitch to repair. That's all away but we have the financial repercussions to resolve and a 2nd XV pitch that, although repaired, is not fit to play on this season.

The Development has made progress. All the planning agreements are in place, OSCR has approved the charitable status and so have HMRC. Now all we await is an agreement from our colleagues at the Academical Club regarding the lease of the ground. Until that's in place we cannot progress to the main fundraising or the start of construction.

As for wishes - only two for now. First, that we can get moving on that fundraising after what seems an eternity waiting for the development to start. And second, for a number 10 who can run a game of rugby and kick 300 points a season. What a difference both would make to the spirits at the Club.

This will be the last Newsletter before the New Year and so on behalf of everyone at Accies I would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and successful new year and to thank you for your interest in, and support of, the Club.

You can keep in touch with what's happening over the holiday season by checking the Club website news page, the Club Facebook page or Twitter - we will keep them up to date with the latest information.

We look forward to seeing you at the Co-ops game on the 29th and during the coming year at Raeburn Place.



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