I am very honoured and proud to be elected as your President for the coming season. I would like to thank Norman Camier for proposing me and I know that I have a hard act to follow, given the tremendous work done last year- particularly in the areas of recruitment, retention and communication.
Our Association faces many challenges in the months ahead not least in maintaining the momentum on recruitment and retention. We are fortunate in having David Keane focused on recruitment in Leinster and a heightened awareness among the Area Reps. of the importance of retaining these recruits mainly through ensuring that they get matches. I believe it is the responsibility of every member of the ARLB to be constantly on the look out for potential new members and to pass on their details to David Keane.
Last season we introduced a new assignment system for assessors which like any new system needed time to bed in and be tested. This system has now been refined and a huge amount of work has been done by Jerome Counihan, Fran Nolan and Bernard Boland. This system will work and it requires the commitment of all concerned to ensure it does – Assessors and Referees alike !. It is our ambition that every active referee will be assessed at least twice during next season.
The impending introduction of the Experimental Law Variations, ( ELV )s, has been well publiscised. ELVs will be the keynote topic at the Seminar on August 17th. , delivered by IRFU personnel. It is imperative that all active referees attend the seminar as our selectors are not allowed to appoint match officials who have not attended an IRFU presentation on ELVs. I would also urge all active referees to ensure they maintain/improve their fitness levels as fitness will be more important than ever next season.
I would like to take this opportnity in congratulating John Montayne on reaching the AIL National Panel and to John Carvil on receiving an IRFU contract. Well done to you both.
Finally I wish you all a successful and enjoyable season in whatever role you fill in the ARLB. I am always available to take suggestions and constructive criticism and I look forward to meeting you all on August 17th.