Glasgow Hawks


Message from CEO Kenny Baillie

Tomorrow, the new season begins. A new season is always exciting for players, coaches and supporters and with both the 1st and 2nd XVs playing newly promoted West of Scotland at Burnbrae, a big crowd is expected.

Season 2008-09 is also the beginning of a new chapter for Glasgow Hawks. In 2007-08, the Club celebrated its 10th Anniversary and the phenomenal achievements over that period - Scottish Champions, three times; Scottish 2nd Division Champions; Scottish Cup Winners, three times; and 38 players who pulled on a Hawks jersey went on to play professional rugby. I can't think of another club in Scotland that has achieved as much and is evidence that we have upheld the ethos of Hawks which has always been WORK HARD TO BE THE BEST. Very simple.

But times change, people move on to further their careers. If Hawks is to once again be the best club in Scotland and playing and beating professional and semi-professional sides from England, France and South Africa we need to keep working harder than everybody else and adapt and change with the times.

Over the last six months, a significant amount of hard work has gone into to planning and preparing Glasgow Hawks for the next ten years. The cornerstone of our plan has been to assemble one of the best coaching teams in Scotland.

In Peter Wright we have a coach who has proved himself everywhere he has been. Peter knows that his second spell at Hawks is very different from the last time he was in charge, but he is relishing bringing on and developing a young and an extremely talented squad of Scottish (and Irish and Coxy) players.

David Wilson is one of Scotland's most qualified and respected coaches and has been involved with Hawks for most of the last decade as both player and coach and his commitment to this Club is unstinting.

Supporting Peter and Davie are Jamie Dempsey, Mike Blackie, Cammy Little, Derrick Speirs, Eric Milligan, Kenny Sinclair and John Hodgkinson and all these guys have one thing in common - they are winners and coming second pisses them off!

Many of you will be glad to know that I have hung up my boots as you won't have to watch me decapitate the second rows when kicking at goal, but if I was still playing I would be excited by the prospect that with hard work the Hawks coaching team would make me the best player I wanted to be.

On the playing front, it is tremendous for all Hawks supporters to see Steven Duffy back at the club and back as captain. Steven has spent the last year learning to surf at Manly Beach in Sydney Australia - a half-decent excuse - but as one of the best players in the Scottish club game over the last eight years and as one of the outstanding and hardest-working players in the short history of the Club, Steven brings a wealth of experience to the club on and off the pitch.

In addition to Duffster, it's great to see Michael Rainey, former Ireland U'21 captain, pull on the boots again. The Good Doctor has been busy working working in some central Scotland's most glamorous medical centres over the last few seasons and we are delighted to see him back in a Hawks jersey.

The club is also fortunate that a new crop of talented players will pull on the Hawks jersey for the first time . In no particular order they are:

Nick Campbell (lock) - Cartha QP & Scotland U'18
Peter Jericevich (scrum-half) - GHA & Scotland U'20
Graham Harkness (back row) - GHA
Tom McGarrity (back row) - Dalziel & Scotland U'17
Robbie Hair (centre) - Garnock
Andy Kirkland (back row) - Greenock Wanderers & Scotland U'17
Patrick Bowyer (scrum half) - Highland
Jono Wright (full back) - GHA
Andy White (stand off) - Cartha QP & Scotland U'19
Rene Daigre (centre) - Boulder, Colorado
Euan Morrison (scrum half) - Irvine
Craig Batchelor (back row) - Glasgow University
Luke Farrell (Full-back) - GHA
Sean McCaffrey (scrum-half) - Manly, Australia
Sam Blackwood (hooker) - Hutchesons' GS

It is also terrific to see a couple of players from Hawks' founder clubs, Glasgow Accies and GHK, force their way into the 1st XV for tomorrow's match. Andy Jackson has played for Hawks before but has a chance of establishing himself at No.7 while Craig Grossman makes his league debut and anyone who has watched Craig play will know what a talented player he is.

Continuing on the playing front, everyone at Anniesland was delighted when Franco was called up for Glasgow Warriors pre-season tour to France. The unfortunate thing was that he decided to rupture his AC joint which will keep him out for another few weeks, but after 10-11 years outstanding service to Hawks it was great to see Franco long-overdue recognition.

Last Friday night, Gary Strain was called up to play for Glasgow Warriors against Bristol at Firhill. Looks as though Gary is going to continue from where he left off last season with Scotland U'20 where he was last season's top try scorer.

Off the field, I am pleased to announce that all our major sponsors are once again on board. Currently, many businesses are looking to cut back but therefore everyone at Hawks is extremely grateful to:

Anglo Irish Bank
Greaves Sports
Greens Health and Fitness
Corum Property
Samurai Sportswear
Gibson Pension & Investments
and Bank of Ireland who are the major sponsors of Glasgow hawks Junior Rugby.

In addition to our current sponsors, I am delighted to announce that the Royal Navy have agreed to a major new five-figure sponsorship deal which covers both senior and junior sections at Hawks. Hawks have a strong connection with the Royal Navy through Craig Hodgkinson and for those of you at Hodgie's memorial match back in May 2007 you will remember the helicopter flying into Old Anniesland to drop off the match ball. You will see more of the same at some point this season.

As well as the Navy, Porcelanosa, the Spanish tiles & bathroom company, are on board with a significant four-figure sponsorship deal. Porcelanosa have showrooms in Glasgow City centre and at Braehead and more information on the benefit to Hawks can be found in our match day programme and on the new club website which will be launched in the next few days. The Club are also close to finalising the details of another major sponsorship deal which again will benefit rugby at all levels at New and Old Anniesland and Balgray.

Final word:

Over the last eleven seasons a lot of outstanding players have worn the Hawks jersey with pride and distinction. The challenge for all of us is to work harder than the competition to keep the tradition going ... take it to a new level. So let's get right in about them!

Best of luck.

Kenny Baillie

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