The first team have started the 2011/12 season in sublime form, remaining unbeaten in the league right up to the Christmas break, this is definitely shaping out to be a great season for OPMs. As always we had to say goodbye to some excellent players and friends at the end of last season however both new and old boys have stepped in to fill the gaps admirably, we have welcomed in players from other clubs and it is excellent to see so many youngsters representing us at the highest level.
We have a well balanced mix of youth and experience which has led to some exciting and skilful rugby in which we have blown teams out of the water. This has been down to the hard work and commitment of all players in the club and the coaching staff, which has been strengthened by the addition of Steve Luffman as backs coach. Leigh Puttock continues to lead as head coach and the progression of the team is clear to see in match results and the league table.
The 2010/11 season was a time of consolidation and rebuilding and we had to fight hard to establish ourselves in what was and still is a very competitive league. We showed grit and determination and showed a tremendous team spirit which, combined with the skills and tactics developed at training, has now solidified our promotion aspirations and regained our respect in Devon rugby. Everyone at the club is pulling in the same direction and there is a great feel and buzz especially in the OPM Suite after games.
Now is an exciting time to be a part of OPM RFC and there is a palpable hue of anticipation and expectation as to what we can achieve. I know all involved are eagerly awaiting the second half of the season and will relish the challenges we are sure to face. We hope you can join us for our games on Saturdays and for a few beers afterwards as we look to build on the strong start we have had and push for glory. Enjoy!
Finally as you are all aware nearing the start of the current season, Simon Adams, our former chairman, lost his battle with Motor Neurone Disease and I would like to say a few words about the Ginger Prince. This was a very sad time for us all at the club. Simon was an inspiration to many, a great man who made such a difference to the people he came into contact with, both on and off the pitch! His vision and enthusiasm for the club has been instilled in many. We at OPMs have much to thank him for, most notably the creation of our junior section which is now thriving, giving the gift of rugby to the hundreds of youngsters who turn up on a Sunday. We are lucky that this great sport gives us the opportunity to meet amazing people and I speak for the club in saying we are lucky to have known Simon. Thank you for all you have done.