Chairman thinks future is bright for the Vale of Lune

Vale chairman Paul Maclaren-Dorrington. Picture: Tony North
Vale chairman Paul Maclaren-Dorrington. Picture: Tony North

The Vale of Lune is in the strongest position on and off the field that it’s been for several years, according to chairman Paul Maclaren-Dorrington.

Speaking at the club’s annual general meeting at Powderhouse Lane the Vale chief said it had been an encouraging season for the senior sides but at times extremely frustrating with players being unavailable or injured.

There is strength in depth but consistency in selection has resulted in some of the sides struggling.

The chairman also welcomed the appointment of Paul Dorrington Snr as director of rugby, and the addition of Evan Stewart to the coaching staff.

A number of players would be returning to the club but a key focus would be on the development of the Colts section.

He thanked all the team managers and coaches for the time and effort they had put in during a testing season but despite all the difficulties the team spirit found within all the senior sides had shone through.

Maclaren-Dorrington made special mention of two team managers who would be retiring, Tony Gilmour who was stepping down after 20 years service with the Vale and Josh Skivington who had played an important role with the third team in recent seasons.

In addition physio Jemma McCleery, who was an integral part of the senior set up, would be shortly leaving the area.

He congratulated the Mini Junior section on another successful season and once again he stressed the importance of the role this section plays in supporting and developing players who will come through and perform for the senior teams.

The chairman also thanked Steve Swarbrick and his team for the immaculate playing surfaces, further maintenance work being planned to solve some problems with standing water.

Off the field, further developments to the interior of the clubhouse are planned as the club looks to maximise its potential for hosting functions.

Paul Brett-Smith, mini and juniors chairman, said that the section continues to grow in both squad sizes and new teams over the past two years.

Thirteen teams had been action during the season with every age range from U6s to U16s for both boys and girls.

Four players represented Lancashire at U15s and U16s level, William Bowker, Patrick Bishop, Ewan Hutchinson and Ciaran Sutcliffe.

Girls rugby at U13, U15 and U18 levels continue to grow.

Stephen Thompson, squash chairman, reported on a successful season in the North West Counties League with Vale 1 gaining promotion to Division Three North by finishing runners-up.

The second team finished in a respectable mid-table sixth place in Division Five North.

Incoming President, Stuart Hesketh, thanked his predecessor Norman Hailes for all his hard work on behalf of the club during his four year term of office.

The President likened the Vale in recent years as a sleeping giant but there were signs it was stirring once again.