As this is the first newsletter for 2017 we wish all the Villagers a very happy New Year. May 2017 be a wonderful year for you all filled with much fun and laughter.
Let us all take hands in 2017 to ensure that the season is a special one by demonstrating our support for this famous club by visiting Brookside on matchdays, for special functions or for a drink at the bar with teammates from years gone by. We need to show to the Cape Town rugby public that Villagers is alive and well and remains one of the special rugby clubs in South Africa.
Pre-season training commenced on Monday 9 January 2017 and it was most pleasing in that 3 times the number of players attended the first practice session when comparing with that at the start of the 2016 season. We need this keen interest from the players to be re-inforced by the presence of past players who represent the foundation of our club. The current players need to see that this club is not just about them on their own, but encompasses all members – playing and non-playing!!
The first pre-season friendly will take place at Brookside on Saturday 4 March 2017 against Uni-Mil. Derby Day will take place at Hamiltons on Saturday 18 March 2017 and will be preceded by a number of “Derby Day events” viz. Cricket at the Gary Kirsten Oval on Sunday 29 January 2017, Darts evening at Hamiltons on Wednesday 22 February 2017, Golf Day at Metropolitan Golf Club on Wednesday 15 March 2017. Should you wish to participate in the “501” Darts Competition please forward your names (teams of 2 members) to this office. The historical relationship between Villagers and Hamiltons is unique in world rugby – it is not about winning, but about rugby friendships that are enjoyed in the spirit of rugby union – and fostering the relationship by showing your support is most meaningful. We owe it to the many past generations to never allow this bond to die.
The first Club 100 function will take place in the clubhouse on Thursday 26 January 2017 at 19h00. It will be an opportunity to meet the 1XV and the coaches and to inspire them by your presence. This first meeting will put a stake in the ground for the future and we hope to see you all present and to thank you for making Club 100 a reality. Membership currently stands at 82 and it would be appreciated if you could assist in getting us to the 100 mark. For those members who have not yet paid their membership fees, it would be appreciated if payment could be made soonest – please refer to the email forwarded to all Club 100 members on 15 November 2016. Many thanks.
Sadly, the Villager FC bade farewell to John van Niekerk who passed away in December 2016. A fine gentleman of the club who engendered the true Villager spirit, John unselfishly gave so much back of his time after his playing days – who can forget John at the entrance gate on matchdays in his kind and polite manner asking for entrance fees. A tribute to John will be held in the Villager clubhouse on Thursday 19 January 2017 at 16h00.
On a lighter note, I met up and enjoyed a super evening with Dan Whiston and his beautiful family in Perth. Dan, a SACS Old Boy, played centre for the 1XV in the late 1990s before ending off his rugby career overseas and then moving on to Perth where he is now resident. Dan’s first question was whether Martin still worked as barman (makes you wonder where Dan spent most of his time at the club) as he had fond memories of the kind service by Martin whilst enjoying the hospitality of the club with his teammates. Dan very kindly addressed an envelope to Martin which I hand-delivered. Martin, in fact, remembers Dan well and was hugely appreciative of Dan’s gesture.
Lastly, subscriptions will now be due for the 2017 season (a seperate letter will follow). Subscription fees will be R600 for a playing member, R500 for a non-playing member, R300 for an Under 20 member, no fee for a first time school-leaver. Please keep your 2016 Membership Card which has been de-activated for 2017, but will again be activated for the 2017 season once your subscription fee has been paid. Please note that the membership discount for bar purchases will not be valid until your subscription fee is paid and you are a registered member. Once activated your membership card can also act as a “purse” for your convenience whereby you can “load” your card through Dave Edwards with any amount you so wish which will negate the need for you to carry cash or to pay with cash each time you make a bar purchase.
The Administration team of the Villager FC looks forward to welcoming you all at Brookside this 2017 season. If there is any issue which is of concern to you or you feel we are not meeting your expectations or you have an idea to enhance the image of Villagers, please feel free to contact this office at any time. We are here to be of service to our members and to keep the name of the Villager FC flying high. After all it is a fact that we have been around since 1876 and we intend to be around forever for future generations. WHERE THERE IS UNITY, THERE IS VICTORY.
VFC Rugby Administration.