President Gary Couplands summary of the year

Thanks to everyone for coming to our AGM, which we are fortunate to be able to have outside at Violetbank.

As was the case in the latter part of the 2019/20 season the COVID 19 pandemic, impacted again in terms of the playing season, however as we hopefully emerge from its impact it has been great to see that numbers are once again flourishing at both junior and senior level with a lot of new faces at training.

One of the most pleasing aspects of the pre season has been the introduction of a number of youth players into all the senior teams, from the Club youth system, which augurs well for the future.

Our micro, mini and youth sections are also growing, for which a lot of credit has to go to our Youth Development Officer Nicole Barlow for her work in both primary schools and through various holiday camps etc throughout the year. 

We have recruited a number of youth coaches over the year and it is pleasing to see 10 individuals from the Club undertaking the new coaching essentials course and 3 on the referee course,  however as always due to the increasing numbers and a few people stepping down we still require more helpers, both in terms of coaching but also refereeing, so if any senior players, ex players or other members feel they could assist with any of the youth teams please speak to myself, Colin Warrick or Nicole.

Off the field the Club completed a Club Values Survey with all members which resulted in our values going forward for the next few years as being Enjoyment, Respect, Teamwork and Development.

This feedback also influenced the content of the Club Action Plan, which in turn will inform a new Club 5 year development plan as we go forward from this season.

I would like to thank Lindsey Kyle our Club Values Ambassador for arranging and driving this on behalf of the club and I’m sure Lindsey will be in contact with most areas of the Club soon as we move this forward.

Arising from this the main development has been the that on 5th May, the club managed to complete the purchase of Violetbank, having leased it since we moved here in 1999.   This marks the beginning of a new chapter for the club as ownership will allow us to develop our facilities to meet the current and future demands not only of the club but our wider community.

I would like to thank the Holywood Trust and Murray, Little and Knox Solicitors for their support in making this project a reality.  The support from Club members, friends and the local community during the past few years for the various fundraising activities has also contributed greatly to this outcome.   I would also like to thank Club project leads Fiona Latimer and Neil Moffat for their efforts in this. 

It has also been heartening to see the club rallying to support the local community during the height of the COVID Pandemic, from collecting and donating food bank items which were donated to two local charities at Xmas, the use of Violetbank by Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council in their support of families, Annan Town Band and other individuals, to the use of our clubhouse at 17 Bank Street by the Council/NHS as a COVID Testing Station, during the past few months.

The past 12-18 months has been difficult for everyone and the COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted the potential impact on everyone’s mental health and wellbeing.  

As such I am delighted that the club partnered with the looseheadz Foundation to support all our players, coaches, members, staff and volunteers, both through the past few months and as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic to a brighter future. 

Thanks also to Laura McKay for taking on the role of mental; health and wellbeing lead, for the club and for all the work she has done during the past few months in that regard.

I would now like to thank a number of individuals for their support during the past year –

Ed whose stepping down as Club Secretary for his efforts and support. Not sure how managed to fit it in around everything else he does for the Club.

Alan and Gus Robertson for their ongoing tireless efforts with match and other photos, press reports, and the club web and social media pages.

Marion for her input with all the teams and wider club.

All our sponsors, fundraisers, Staff, Coaches, volunteers, players and members for their continued support in trying times, without whom the Club could not have continued to function, both financially and on a day to day level.

I would also like to thank Scottish Rugby, Dumfries and Galloway Council and the Holywood Trust for their ongoing and much needed additional support during this period.

Although we are still in somewhat uncertain times due to COVID and its potential continued impact upon the club, I’d like to think that as we emerge from these difficult times we can still continue to be forward looking, optimistic and continue the development of our people, facilities and successes of recent years. 

But to do that can I encourage everyone to pull together and continue to support both the club and each other as we move forward into a hopefully bright and successful future.

Thank You

Gary Coupland



President: Gary Coupland

Vice President Commercial: Neil Moffat

Vice President Rugby: Colin Warrick

Treasurer: Niall Smith

Secretary: Lindsey Kyle

Fixture Secretary: Sean Haren

Referee Secretary: Niall Smith

Ordinary Committee Members: Colin McCann, Billy Henderson, Laura McKay, Gordon Carmichael, Ryan Glass, Heather Tinning, Craig Johnstone, Jack Tinning, Neal Coupland, Tam Sloan, Abbie Clark and Ed Woodman

Head Men’s Coach:  Gogs Carmichael

Head Warrior’s Coach: Colin Warrick

1st XV Captain: Andrew Jancey

1st Vice Captain: Sean Haren

Warrior’s Captain:  Nicole Barlow

Warrior’s Vice Captain: Kayleigh Warrick

2nd XV Captain: Ben Conroy

2nd XV Vice Captain: Frazer Hope

Other News