Sunday 1 December 2013

Programme notes - Currie, 30 Nov

Welcome to Raeburn Place

Today we welcome Currie, their President, John Muir, and supporters to Raeburn Place for our RBS Premiership match. A big thanks and welcome also to our match officials - referee Mr Neil Paterson and assistants, Mr Cammy Rudkin and Mr Digby Thomas, for without them there would be no game.

Last week's win by 1 point against Stirling brought us 5 valuable points, moving us to 5th equal with Hawks, on 28 points, and importantly widening the gap between the bottom three. With all Premiership teams now having played 12 games the table has broken into three distinct groups - Gala, Melrose, Heriot’s and Ayr on 40+ points; Hawks, Accies and Hawick on 28 to 26 points; and Aberdeen, Stirling and Currie on 19 to 14 points.

Like last week, today's meeting with Currie is another crucial game. Both teams need the points desperately to avoid a frantic last five games, which incidentally are spread out over the next four months! Also, with Aberdeen playing Stirling today, it's a week that could make or break any of the four teams.

Next week we begin our back-to-back B&I Cup games against the unbeaten (9 from 9) top team in the English Championship and fully professional club, London Welsh - first in London, then a week later at Raeburn Place. We see from their web site that their supporters have started the ‘big clean-up’, to help get the grandstand at Old Deer Park up to scratch in the quest to gain a safety certificate for our game on 7th December. Like us, London Welsh have a proud record in rugby history. For the victorious 1971 Lions Tour to NZ they provided seven of the squad, some of the greatest players of the 20th century included. Five of them even played in all four tests; they were John Dawes, John Taylor, JPR Williams, Gerald Davies, Mervyn Davies, Mike Roberts and Geoff Evans.

But, before the B&I Cup, an Accies XV is playing Sydney University under floodlights on the 2nd XV pitch on Wednesday 4th December, kick off 6.30pm. This will be the very first game between two clubs who are 150 years old from – but from different hemispheres! It's also the first time we will have played Sydney University. It is a special occasion and as such your attendance will help enhance that and give them a good Scottish welcome to RP. Over 306 years of rugby history between us - be there, see history in the making!

And, the final 'feast' of rugby for 2013 will be on Friday 27th December when we play our annual game against The Co-Optimists, ko 2pm.

Finally, I hope you all enjoy your visit to Raeburn Place, the 'cradle of rugby football in Scotland' and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.

John Wright President, EAFC

Coach's Comments

We were down by 14 points last Saturday with 20 minutes to go and staring down the barrel. However, if this group of players has showed anything this season, it is guts and determination to keep playing for the full 80 minutes. We played to our strengths in the second half, with our pack driving the heavier Stirling pack backwards - and I know that put a smile on Malcy’s face! Alex and Ruairidh directed the orchestra well and put us into the positions to score. Jamie Sole looked strong and direct, while our two centres were relentless. Nyle Godsmark and Matt Coupar supported well and kept us moving forward. When we play to our strengths - and play our game - we are a good team. However, when we go ‘off script’ and try to be heroes, we make mistakes and teams punish us. This is exactly what Stirling did in the first half. Nevertheless, we did come back that time and showed character to come away with the win.

We will need this character against Currie today. They are a dangerous team with an experienced pack of forwards. They are well drilled and will relish the challenge of coming to Raeburn Place. Their back line is an exciting one and we must be at our very best in both defence and attack to counter them.

Training numbers during the week continue to impress. Tuesday night’s allow players to compete against each other and stick their hand up for selection. The players at our club have a terrific work ethic and are willing to learn and push themselves. All the coaches at the Club are impressed at the quality and the hard work that the players put in at training and in games week in week out and as head coach that is all I can ask for. We must strive to continuously improve and ensure that we always work hard, while allowing the players to enjoy themselves.

I hope you enjoy the game today.

Jonny Else Head Coach, EAFC

Accies’ Centre of Excellence (‘ACE’)

The story so far for season 2013-14…

ACE sessions started way back in September and have been running on the last Monday of every month since then; we have had around 40 to 60 players involved in programme this year which has been great.

The two most important tenets of ACE are:

  • it is the player’s choice as to whether they want to attend the session; and  
  • it is all based around individual and unit development

Upon arrival at the first ACE session, each player was asked to self-reflect on their game, outlining the positives and areas for development within their game and also what is their rugby ambition? Ambitions varied from winning the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Cup to playing international rugby and becoming a British Lion. Make no mistake it is important that our young players have ambition - no matter how grand.

The structure of our sessions this season have been based around 45 minute individual and unit workshops, where each player has been assigned a coaching group to work with that best fits the skill set for their position. For example, the hookers have been practicing there throwing and scrummaging with Michael Liness and the props have been practicing lifting technique in the line out and scrummaging with Duncan MacLeod. We then look to move the session onto game related practices where the players are challenged by using their skills in pressurized situations, whilst at the same time always ensuring there is a fun element to the session.

In the New Year, we are looking to develop our ACE programme for the 16-year-old plus group, linking them to Edinburgh University for strength and conditioning coaching under the guidance of Phil Maguire (Strength & Conditioning Coach at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh Accies).

As ever, this programme would never run if it were not for the volunteers who give up their valuable free time (no matter what the weather!) to give these players a positive experience and I thank them sincerely for their steadfast support. I would also like to thank the legendary 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron who are part of the RAF Reserves for the use of their facilities.

If you would like to receive more information on the ACE Programme please contact me on the following details:

Iain Berthinussen Rugby Development Officer - 0783 469 2823;

EAFC Minis Rugby

The Minis section entertained Lasswade Rugby Club last weekend at Raeburn Place in a development fixture that saw our P4’s to P7’s team up with players from Lasswade to take part in a series of training exercises and then play a number of mini games. Coaches from both clubs were actively involved and it was a pleasure to see the boys from both clubs interacting with one another. The morning ended with hot sausage rolls and hot chocolate in the clubhouse which for some was the highlight of the morning (!), but overall a great event and, as always, a big thank you to those who rolled their sleeves up to help.

I was also delighted to hear that 6 of our U13 squad and all ex Minis (5 of whom attend our Accies Centre of Excellence), were chosen to play in a Scotland Public Schools vs. Edinburgh Independent Schools match at Melrose last Sunday. Congratulations to Samuel, Harry, Finlay, Rory, Alex and Robbie on your achievement.

Good luck to the 1st XV today and here’s hoping for a much needed 5-pointer.

Please refer to our website for up to date info: click here  

Remember, ANY player from ANY school is welcome to join the Accies Minis!

David Crawley, President, EAFC Mini Rugby, M 07715 555 005, E


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