Thursday 8th June saw a very positive and productive Annual General Meeting for Hornsea Rugby Union club, writes Steve Crook. Congratulations to our 1st XV Captain, Gareth Laycock, who was voted in to retain the Captaincy. Laycock is the Club’s 50th Captain in our 94 year history. Although a very tough season last year, Gareth conducted himself in a very professional manner, he gave his all to the role and he impressed a lot of club members. Gareth will be assisted this season with new Vice-Captain, Tom Copeland. Tom needs no introduction to Club members as he has been a key part of the Club on and off the field for a number of years now. We wish the duo all the best for the upcoming season, it’s now time to rebound, get up and get on. There is nothing wrong saying we had a disappointing season last year, however, there is better to come. We decided at the AGM that there would be no more talk about last season, it is now all about the future and being positive, it’s time for the team to pull together and get playing with some intensity and enjoyment. The players are aware of the challenge ahead and it is now up to them to embrace it, love it and prove a few doubters wrong. The lads look to be a great partnership and aim to boost playing numbers on a big basis. Speaking after retaining the Captaincy, Laycock said, “I’m obviously very pleased and proud to have been voted in as Captain – it is not something that I will take for granted and will really put my all into the role whilst working closely with our coach Steve Arnott, and my Vice-Captain Tom Copeland to try and make 2017/18 a cracking season both on and off the pitch!” At the meeting the main discussion point was the league the Club will be playing in this coming season. Following a very difficult season last year where we finished bottom of Yorkshire Division Four. The options on the table were relegation into Yorkshire Division Five, where there were only 6 sides, meaning just 10 league fixtures, or to enter the East District Merit League 1, where 14 local sides compete in a league. The sides are predominantly made up of local 2nd XVs from bigger clubs with two or three 1st XVs. The Club decided to opt for the second option and have joined the East District Merit League 1. The teams in the League are, Beverley 2nd XV, Bridlington 2nd XV, Goole 2nd XV, Scarborough 2nd XV, Malton 2nd XV, Grimsby 2nd XV, Hullensians 2nd XV, Ionians 3rd XV, Driffield 3rd XV, Scunthorpe 3rd XV, Marist 1st XV, BP 1st XV, Hull / York Medics 1st XV. The three main reasons for opting for this league were more guaranteed League fixtures, a more reliable and more professional opposition and greatly reduced travel time. Following our decision we have subsequently heard that Yorkshire 5 and Yorkshire 4 have now combined and have been split into two leagues, South & East and North & West with 8 teams in each league, resulting in 14 league games, with a possible option of more games if finishing in the top places of the league. We felt with the makeup of the current squad that the East District Merit League 1, suits our needs best at present. We will aim to have a positive season, get some wins against more equal opponents and enjoy locking horns with local sides again – something really we haven’t done for a number of years. Older members of the Club will remember that we only used to play local clubs and that this was something great about rugby union, playing against local rivals etc. Lots more was discussed on the night with plenty of positives. The committee was voted in and had a very similar make up to that of last season, the only real change was Tom Copeland taking over as the club Secretary. Hornsea Chairman, Nick O’Mahony, thanked all of the clubs volunteers for their hard work and effort during the last season. The committee for 2017 / 2018: Chairman: Nick O’Mahony President: Steve Crook Mini / Junior Coordinator: Andy Keyworth Treasurer: Nick O’Mahony Secretary: Tom Copeland Fixture Secretary: Tom Copeland Press / Publicity: Steve Crook Sports Assoc Rep: Nick O’Mahony 1st XV Captain: Gareth Laycock 1st XV Vice Captain: Tom Copeland Senior Coach: Steve Arnott A proud night for those elected to prominent positions in the club.