U15's Team Manger Phil Hearne gives us his views on the current situation and how he see's the team moving forward.
The corona virus pandemic hit the UK shores at a time when our U15's were really showing signs of gelling together as a team both on and off the pitch.
The games against Glynneath and Beddau showed me how far this group of young players had come as a team.
When you analyse the games compared to the corresponding fixtures the previous year, there was a massive improvement. The previous season at U14 level, we were not competitive for periods in those games and lost by 40 points in both. This time however we won at Glynneath 5-0 and controlled the game. To say i was seriously impressed is an understatement! At Beddau, we were competitive all through the match in atrocious conditions and although losing by 20 points, we were in the game until a serous injury to our hooker Reuben. We definately earned the respect of their players and coaches. Iwan brought the boom box and the opposition and near by houses certainly knew Llanharan U15's were in town!
These matches were before and after home wins on the Dairyfield against Risca and Mumbles. It was starting to look like this was to be a successful season and certainly something positive to build on. With a youthful coaching team of Sam Garner, Ieuan Pring, Iwan H and Dale T, we had built solid foundations as we progressed towards a youth team in Black&Blue, after a few seasons absence. There was also great support for us at the club from the senior players and officials..
We always used the main pitch for our home games and played some games under floodlights on Friday's. Not many U15 teams are afforded this luxury.
Off the field things were also moving nicely. Rich the Medic, Sam the Head Coach and myself as Team Manager sorted pretty much everything else out. This would not have been possible without a fantastic set of parents who supported us 100%. We managed to obtain off field kit for the players and coaches, courtesy of some generous sponsors, to whom i must say a massive thank you.
Our tour of Devon was all sorted and i know the players and parents were really looking forward to it. Then suddenly the March lock down curtailed everything. As "Ubbsy" Sam Llewellyn , said on the club website recently " we will be hopefully talking about the time the country ground to a halt in years to come".
As for myself, it seemed everything i liked doing, ceased overnight. No rugby, no socializing at the rugby club on weekends and no hitting the road with the U15's on Sunday mornings. My garden, like everyone else's i suppose had the TLC it deserved, although thankfully i went back to work before my back packed in.
I know the players are all missing rugby and the socializing, as are the parents and coaches. Our numbers have grown steadily and we currently have 23 registered players. Hopefully they will all stay and continue playing fore Llanharan RFC. They keep everyone on their toes at the rugby club with their antics and boisterous behaviour, especially Sue! They are a great bunch though and i'm looking forward to the day when we can resume training and playing - hopefully in the not to distant future in the Black&Blue of Llanharan RFC.
As for the future, who knows how things will pan out but i'm sure the grassroots supply of players to the senior teams will continue to flourish.