Tenby United RFC' - virtual presentation held in style

Coach Jonathan Evans - very optimistic for 20/21Tenby United RFC have become the latest Pembrokeshire side to virtually celebrate their season - and coach Jonathan Evans is optmistic about what lies ahead.

On Saturday night the Seasiders used Zoom to allow all players to congregate in an online video chat where club ties and blazers were the order of the day, and the end of season award winners were announced.

It was Chairman Harry Bolton who led proceedings and it proved popular with more than 30 players, coaches, and club members getting involved.

Real success for Rob amongst others

The biggest winner was prop Rob Luly, whose impressive campaign was rewarded with both the Coaches’ and Supporters’ Player of the Year Awards.

The Captain’s Player, decided by Luke Dedman, went to another front rower in Geoff Martin.

It was Andrew Cooke, who excelled both as a flanker and a centre for the club last season, who was voted Players’ Player of the Year.

Winger Adam Quill took the Most Improved Player award and young second row Ben James was adjudged Most Promising Player.

Rob Luly - Coaches and Supporters Player of the YearJonathan, Luke and Wyndham conformed for 20/21 . . .

It has also been confirmed that Evans will continue as head coach next season with Dedman carrying on as skipper. Wyndham Williams meanwhile, who last September reached 200 games for the club, has been newly appointed as youth team coach.

Before the season was curtailed, a young Tenby squad were beginning to make progress, lying fourth in Division Two West after a run of form which had seen them win four and draw one of their previous six games. They also had a pending Pembrokeshire KO Cup semi final against Pembroke.

Veteran Williams and Geoff Martin also represented the Pembrokeshire senior side that took on Valero in a charity game in March.


. . . And coach Jonathan is optimistic

Harry Bolton - led the evening on Zoom really wellAnd following the evening on Saturday, head coach Evans spoke to PembrokeshireSport

"We knew the 2019/2020 season would be significantly different to the previous one.

"The likes of Jack Broadhurst, Ben Pugh, Jack Tucker, Max Brindley and Tom Barrass had gained valuable first team experience at the age of 19 or 20 along with the majority of the youth backline.

"With such a young squad the season targets were low. We wanted to compete in every game, build a squad compiled of local talent and hopefully finish mid-table.

"Regardless of the early conclusion to the season the targets were achieved. There were certainly defeats that should have been wins but we knew we weren’t far away.

Memorable moments recalled

Andrew Cooke - Players Player of the Year"Two memorable away wins in the Pembrokeshire Cup, at Milford and Whitland, set up the semi-final we all wanted which was a trip to Pembroke. Sadly this fixture wasn’t to be but nevertheless it was great to win some local derbies."

And Evans also praised how the squad grew in stature following a difficult campaign in 2018/19, which ended in relegation from One West.

"Last season saw players develop across the field. Luke Dedman took on the impossible task of leading the side through a season of defeats in 2018 yet continues to improve both as a player and captain. Rob Luly, Andrew Cooke and Lloyd Thomas are seen as senior players yet are all in their mid-20’s.

"It’s clear that when they play well the team plays well. Welcoming back Yannic Parker and Matthew Morgan added valuable quality and experience to a young backline.

"But the last two seasons would not have been completed without the youth players. Richard, Leon and Guto have coached and developed some now key senior players. Ten teenagers took to the field during the season, up two from the previous year, and another six 18-year-olds come into the squad this summer.

Personal highlights recalled

Luke Dedman - continuing as Seasiders skipper"Personal highlights for me was the away win in Milford, with backs against the wall for the majority of the second-half it showed me that where previously we would have folded we were showing that much needed ‘dog’.

"In the league it has to be the away win at Carmarthen Athletic in January. A low scoring game but one I felt we controlled for the majority."

And Evans was also keen to acknowledge others around him who had helped with the rebuilding process - and is now looking forward to what lies ahead.

"Off the field, adding Andy Barlow to the coaching set up has been key. His defensive leadership has kept us in every game - add this to Ossie Boswell’s experience and the balance is there.

"Rob Luly was our choice for Coaches' Player of the Season. Matty, Yannic and Cookie add priceless Championship experience but Rob, both on and off the field, has been faultless. He missed literally one training session all season and plays with incredible passion for the badge. 

Geoff Martin - captains Player of the YearAnd finally . . .

"As a senior squad we have to be grateful for the way the club is being guided off the field and the support we’re receiving. Harry Bolton as Club Chairman, William Crockford, and Rachel Grieve as Chairman of the Junior Swifts are doing great things."

"I’m excited by the 2020/2021 season. The confidence and belief is in the squad and with a couple of quality additions along with even more youth players hitting 18, I firmly believe we will be competing near the top of league.

"This is a realistic target, one extra try per game would have put us there this season - so bring it on."