Cowal Rugby Club has confirmed it will not be fielding a senior team this year, as the decision has been made to withdraw the club from league competition for the 2022/23 season.
With the West of Scotland League Division Three set to commence on the opening weekend in September, Cowal RFC has announced that they will not be fielding a senior squad this year – for only the second time in the club’s history.
A mixture of travel and dwindling numbers throughout the senior squad has forced Cowal’s hand for this season, alongside the inevitable fallout from Covid.
Last season was a mixed bag for Cowal Rugby. With participation levels on the up, the club started the year positively, which was evident on the pitch with a few excellent performances from the senior squad.
However, many Covid cancellations meant that games were sporadic, with breaks between matches being as long as nine weeks.
This led to numbers dropping weekly, eventually seeing Cowal drop out of the league with two weeks left to play, as they were unable to field a team on more than three occasions – a breach of SRU regulations.
The club looked for a fresh start for the upcoming year. Yet, record low numbers the the club’s AGM in June was the beginning of the end for senior rugby in Cowal this season, with the club announcing its withdrawal from the league this past week.
Adding to this, the club will also host an emergency general meeting in August, discussing what the future holds for Cowal Rugby.
Club captain Rod Brogan admits withdrawing from competition is a sore one to take, yet remains optimistic on the future of rugby in Cowal.
He said: “With last season being the most challenging due to the pandemic, we started off the year with socially distanced training. This was the first time we could train in over a year, and it was great to have some form of rugby back in our lives.
“The camaraderie was high and numbers were great, it had appeared that year out had made people miss rugby and seek to return.
“However, the season started as it was to continue, with constant cancellations due to Covid outbreaks forcing many postponements. We were faced with gaps of up to nine weeks between games.
“Word has spread of Cowal’s struggle this year, and in true rugby nature, Greenock, Helensburgh and Hyndland have been in touch and have stated should any members of our club still keen to actively play senior rugby they should get in touch with them.”
He continued: “With the senior team not committing to a league this season this does not mean the club is not active. We have a massive junior section, consisting of boys and girls aged from five to 14, and we are excited about this season with the club entering into the Junior Dalriada league for the first time, which will give our kids weekly games and a chance at competitive rugby. The kids are our bread and butter to feed players into the senior team, and looking at the numbers we have I am excited for the club’s future.
“As with all amateur sports, we depend on the services of volunteers, wether it is coaching, playing or taking a seat on a committee, we are looking for help. If this is something you feel you could do, then please get in touch or alternatively attend our EGM on August 12, at Cowal Golf Club from 6.30pm.”