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The annual presentation evening was held in the Club on Friday, 28th May, when following an excellent meal prepared by Barry Israel, Bill Swarbrick and their helpers, awards were presented by President David Burnett and Cumbria RFU Member of the RFU, Roger Hackney.
Hackney presented the RFU “Value the Volunteer”a ward to BARRY ISRAEL. Barry is the junior and youth player registrar, vice chairman of the junior and youth section of the club, as well as being a member of the general committee. He will need to be careful, as his new found culinary skills will be in such demand, that there won’t be time for his other work! An award well deserved for a willing helper for whom too much is no trouble.
In addition, Barry later received the OLD FART’S AWARD, an award that is voted for by those who comprise the group that the title suggests. It is given for the work that the individual does in administration and in furtherance of the aims of the game.
During his speech Mr Hackney commended the club for the forward way in which they were developing and thanked all those who helped to advance the cause of the game at Carlisle.
The president, David Burnett, then presented the following awards:
PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
DAN SMITHSON who came to the club from Creighton during the last close season, has established himself as a favourite with his peers and supporters alike.
SMITHSON who excels in the back row is a fine individual performer as well as a team player was unable to be present to receive his award
– he was getting married the following day, and we all wish him and his bride all the best for the future.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
DAN HOLMES has been a regular performer for the senior team.His potential in the three quarters was something that initially, only the coaching team had spotted! In the early part of the season he struggled to find any consistency but since the turn of year he has excelled both in attack and defence. His progress has been rapid and the integrity of the coaching team has been vindicated. Well done Dan, really well deserved. His twin brother, Josh, also plays for the club.
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR
GARY GRAHAM has a promising career ahead of him. Still only seventeen when he made his debut early in the season, his presence as a lock has had a significant impact on the performance of the Carlisle pack.
Gary was also selected for the Scottish Exiles U18 squad and has represented Cumbria at various levels. His selection as the young player of the year was warmly received and nothing less than he deserved.
His older brother George, a half back, also featured regularly for the 1st XV.
PLAYER’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Significant though all the awards are, the one most coveted by the lads is the Player’s Player of the Year accolade – voted for solely by the lads on the night of the dinner. The very fact that you have been chosen by your playing peers is recognition that you skill and ability is recognised and appreciated by all of the team.
JOHN BOWMAN has broken into the 1st XV squad this season and is now a serious contender as a hooker or a prop, but someone who can be depended on to do a good job whatever the demands placed on him. He powerful driving forward with the ball and is a fearless tackler.
Mike established the first award shortly before his death and he would most certainly have approved of the choice for 2009 / 2010 season. As well as being an outstanding scrum half (and outfield utility player), Blain gives a lot back to the game that he so enjoys. He coaches youth sides, fund raises for charity and the club, is a member of the rugby committee and during the course of the season has developed into a sought after referee who is in demand. Earlier in the year he was awarded the RFU vRugby Gold Award for his activities as the Carlisle RFC vRugby Volunteer Co-ordinator.
BARRY STEWART AWARD – BEST FRONT ROW PLAYER
LUCY MEADLEY plays for Carlisle Cougars and also has representative honours with the RFUW North East Region and featured prominently in the regional championsips.
She is a strong performer and an avid trainer.
Perhaps her nomination was a surprise to some, but her skill and ability is undoubted and she deserves the recognition.
Other awards made on the night were as shown below. There are no pictures or other information available at the moment. Hopefully this omission will be corrected as soon as possible.
COLT’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR – MATTHEW CULLEN
COACHES PLAYER OF THE YEAR (COUGARS) – LISA RITCHIE
PLAYER’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR (COUGARS) – BELINDA LLOYD
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER (C0UGARS) – MAXINE PICKLES