More Inter Club Debate Required in the Caley Area

Jack Nixon



By the time rugby gets underway again in the Caley area in late August, nearly 18 months will have elapsed since Covid 19 wreaked havoc on the 2020/21 season.

Deeply damaging to morale you might say, but for what’s it worth I will back the resilience of clubs in the area to battle back, putting in place an amateur game to be proud of, even stronger than it was before the dramatic shutdown in March last year.

But for that to happen it needs a club led debate to spark off the new season, especially now that there is no regular forum in existence.

The energy and enthusiasm abound in the numerous clubs, even if there is no collective leadership on show in the most northerly region in the Scottish game.

Pulling together the various initiatives- and there are many is vital if we are to have a club game worthy of the area in the foreseeable future.

From where I sit in the cheap seats of the press box there is much to share as I have witnessed in my 25 years of reporting Caledonia rugby from over 50 grounds in Scotland.

What is wrong with clubs learning of the success of others, including the huge progress enjoyed in the Under age game, not least at Aberdeen Wanderers,Ellon, Gordonians, Highland, Mackie, Moray and Ross Sutherland and many others?

Surely all clubs will want to know just how Highland managed to come from being a struggling Caley 2 North outfit in 2012 to one challenging for a place in the Premiership last season.

And why shouldn’t we hear from development officers at Mackie and Moray about their desire to take the game to the wider community in Stonehaven and Elgin. We could even ask of the representatives from Banff, Fraserbugh, Peterhead and Turriff why the Buchan area has become a hot bed of the game.

We could even discuss the critical issues facing the game, particularly the one of finance and the involvement of the Scottish Rugby. I am sure clubs would love to know what happened to the £15m granted by the Scottish Government for distribution in the community.

But for all this to happen, clubs need to be in one place. Not a problem in my book.

I would even play my part, offering my services to organise a day seminar for the purposes of bringing clubs up to date on all issues and challenges facing the game.

Communication is in my opinion of the essence which is why I am delighted, even privileged to be asked to contribute to this e-magazine in the hope it will become a leading light in promoting the game of rugby in the area.

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Jack Nixon Orkney returned to the National Leagues after an absence of three years, easing home 55 - 5 against a workmanlike Aberdeen Wanderers who enjoyed spells of good play but did not see enoug