Men's Dinner packs them in, past and present.
The men’s dinner was held on Saturday the 24th of April in the club house. Seventy two past and present players and guests of Pembroke attended. It was a good attendance at a function which rarely boasts the numbers that attend the ladies’s dinner but perhaps this year’s ash filled sky didn’t help the numbers to reach the ladies’s total.
Nonetheless, a full room enjoyed the four course fare and settled into the after dinner speeches. The club captain, David Wilson, made a speech that was punctuated by prize collecting from the respective winners. The address detailed the necessary and deserved thanks for the volunteered efforts of the committee and captains. Chris Furlong was also mentioned as ‘someone who always has the best interests of the club at heart’. The audience generously showed their appreciation with hearty applause as the club cannot function without this spirit of volunteering by entheusiastic and competent club members.
The speech also detailed in reverse order an edited summary of the performances of the seven senior teams. The fact that apart from the sixths and sevenths, who both finished mid table, the first five teams all had top four finishes the with the firsts and thirds winning their respective titles was cause for an observation from the club captain that strength in depth in the men’s side of the club remains. Matt Bentley, after a year when the league title was won after a surprisingly long wait since the last one after bossing the league from start to finish, and Alan Giles gleefully lifted the firsts and thirds league trophies respectively, as captains. The club captain also observed that fact that the first eleven bounced back after loosing to Glennane in the Irish Senior Cup by winning the Irish Indoor title and another three titles so far subsequent to the indoor one was no surprise because of the competitiveness of the side, and was summed up crisply by a quote attributed to Charlie Southern, who, having seen the men win the Indoor title in Tallaght turned to the club captain and said, “this group of players have huge character, watch them bounce back and fight until the end of the season’’. Well done Charlie, you never doubted them.
Other winners on the night were David Harte who won senior (firsts to thirds) player of the year;
Peter Collins who won junior player of the year (fourths to sevenths) and Neil Farrell who won team captain of the year. The speech was concluded by a call from the club captain to further improve the club next year and the individual who can accomplish that objective is, of course, ‘’the man in the mirror’’.
The guest speaker was Arul Anthoni, the current coach of Glennane and of the Irish men’s side and incoming coach of Three Rock Rovers for next season, and a former Malaysian player who earned 81 caps. The thrust of his speech was two-fold. He emphasised with some colourful quotes about the necessity of how crucial it is for Irish people, especially Irish sportsmen, to communicate by swearing as it’s the only way communication seems possible for them! He also under-lined his hockey values and prioritised the importance of hard work, because without hard work he added ‘talent is useless’. The speech was short, humorous and valuable with some, but not too many, unforgettable messages.
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