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Old Town Shamrocks

Porvoo Rugby Club

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NEWS

Reflections on the 2023 Season and Aspirations for the Future

Old Town Shamrocks 2023

Team Line Up

The Old Town Shamrocks (OTS) rugby team recently completed the 2023 Finnish Championship season, which, unfortunately, didn't unfold as planned. They finished fourth out of five teams after a very even regular season, leaving them out of the finals, with mixed emotions. A few more points might have secured them a spot in the semi-final, but it wasn't to be. Nevertheless, the season had its moments of triumph, with two impressive victories over Tampere RC and one against Helsinki Rugby Club (HRC). However, the gap to the top teams (WRC,Eagles and HRC) proved hard to bridge.

In an interview with the leaders of the team, we reflected on the season that was, trying to analyse the pros and cons before wrapping it up to enjoy a few months of off season.

Akseli Peltoniemi, who led the team as captain for the first time this season, began by acknowledging, "The season went moderately for us, but I'm sure all the guys are a little disappointed that we didn't make it to the finals." High expectations fueled their ambition, and the team's potential was evident. However, the season had its share of challenges, including bouts of undisciplined play that translated into penalties on the field.

Samu Pääkkö, the Assistant Captain, weighed in, noting, "The season was quite similar compared to previous seasons." The familiar pattern of closely contested matches persisted, with the Shamrocks showing glimpses of brilliance but falling short of achieving their full potential. Samu highlighted the need for consistency and honing their performance as a team. The emphasis in training was on constant improvement, with coach Daniel Kerr never shying away from offering candid feedback.

Daniel offered hos own perspective of his first season as Head Coach, saying, "It's a mixed feeling about this season." He praised the team's physicality but pointed out the frustrations of penalties and disciplinary issues that often disrupted their rhythm, especially in the first half of the season.

Daniel Kerr

"It's mixed feeling about this season, super happy and it really showed the guys that were always at training consistently week in week out. It's safe to say we were the most physical team in the league.
In the first half of the season we really didn't get to play rugby, whether it be penalty after penalty or receiving a cards, I'm gonna say some was right alot was wrong. This is not said lightly; an old team mate who referees in the URC watched a few of our games this year, and this is a statement from a professional, not a frustrated coach, in saying that this frustrated and killed our play. But when we got to play in attack without the whistle we played very good rugby.
It's hugely disappointing that certain teams have adapted a '' football mentality '' in crying for penalties and exaggerating incidents. Along with branding hitting hard tackles as dirty play, I'm super sad that referees accepted this behaviour and allowed this.
When it came to trainings I think it helped that everyone knows me extremely well in the team. In the way of I will never sugar coat anything and compliments are hard to get. The main line of it is 'be better'."

Petu running with the ball

Despite the disappointment, the team is determined to use this experience as motivation for the upcoming season. The last time OTS made it to the semi-finals was in 2021, and they've reached this stage four times, but have never made it to the "finals day," the pinnacle of domestic rugby in Finland.

In an exciting development, the Shamrocks' U-11 juniors will take to the field on Finals day, playing a game against Warriors Rugby Club (WRC). This marks a significant moment, as the green colors of OTS will be represented at this prestigious event for the first time since 2013 when they played in the Div 1 final.

While the 2023 season may not have unfolded exactly as the team had planned, all three interviewees shared a commitment to growth and a deep sense of responsibility toward their respective roles.

Akseli Peltoniemi expressed his enjoyment of leading the team as captain, highlighting the importance of being authentic and trusting his teammates.

As they look forward to the future, Samu Pääkkö emphasised the importance of finding routine and consistency, both within matches and from one game to another. Practicing together as a unit, he believes, will be the key to unlocking the team's full potential.

Coach Daniel Kerr was effusive in his praise for several standout players on the team, recognizing their dedication and individual improvements. He highlighted the dominant performance of the tight five.

Dan running with the ball

"The tight 5 was possibly the best in the league. Our giraffes (Akseli & Glenn Kristjankroon) were outstanding, and I don't think either had a bad game, always setting the standard of our play.
Alejandro Ruiz, our human cannonball. Juuso Kataja is quite possibly the most modern-day prop in Finland, and one of the best props in the league. Jim Rif hadn't played in 2 years, walked on the pitch, played a position he had little experience in, and now it's his. Super impressive.
Veeti Korhonen was fantastic every game he played. Kimi Gali Valls dominated at times despite his young age. Our veterans Marko Sallert and Petu Larsen surprised me this year with how good they were throughout the season.
Last but no means least, Jesper Honkonen who's season was very short due to injury, but work rate and preformance still stands out to me. A fantastic player we hope to see back playing next season.
Overall everyone involved had a talkable highlight this year along with individual improvement", Kerr sums up.

Ale running with the ball

Despite the challenges faced during the season, the Shamrocks remain resolute and optimistic. Looking ahead to the 2024 championship season, all five teams will remain in the Championship, with one team earning promotion from Division One. The OTS is determined to use the off season well and improve their performance in the upcoming season.

In international rugby news, the Finland national team is gearing up for two critical games against Denmark on 7th October and Latvia on 21st October in the Rugby Europe Conference 1. OTS Captains Akseli Peltoniemi and Samu Pääkkö have been familiar faces in the starting XV for some years now, and we asked them how they feel about the upcoming international games and representing their country on the international stage:

Akseli and Samu NT

Akseli: "The body is a bit battered after the season, but we are in game condition. Latvia and Denmark are both really tough teams and I expect very tight and physical matches from both", says Akseli.

Samu is on the same page: "We are in good shape, although the club team season that just ended always causes minor wear and tear, I am again really excited and proud of the upcoming international matches. The next matches will be against Denmark and Latvia. Denmark is a familiar opponent from previous seasons and is a skilled and dangerous team that should never be underestimated. I myself have played against Latvia once in 2018 in Riga, and the main thing that comes to mind about that match is that even if the match was lost, victory would have been more than possible", Samu explains.

Samu started his international journey in 2015 in Norway, while Akseli followed in the same footsteps a few years later. Both Men have been a part of the development of the Men's national team that has risen from last place in 2011,to the 72nd place (out of 109).

NT Photo

As OTS regroups and prepares for the 2024 Championship season, the team is united in their pursuit of excellence and determination to make their mark in Finnish rugby.

The 2023 season may not have brought the results we desired, but it has only fueled their resolve to strive for greater heights in the future.

TEAM

Team Picture

2023 Team Roster

Forwards

ALEJANDRO RUIZ

JAY ROBERTSON

JUUSO KATAJA

ROLAND MARKI

JOHN HELENIUS

AKSELI PELTONIEMI (VC)

OTTO ÅKERBERG

GLENN KRISTJANKROON

MARKO SALLERT

TUOMAS UURINMÄKI

DANIEL KIRK

MATTI KERÄNEN

PETTER LARSEN

PADRAIG LANGAN

STEFAN ROGERS

MATTI GALI VALLS

Backs

ARI GALI VALLS

KIMI GALI VALLS

TOMMI PAAVILAINEN

CASEY DENT

CURTIS POLLARD

JARKKO TUORESMÄKI

TARAS LIUSH

WIREMU RAHUI

DANIEL KERR

JURI PODSCHIVALOW

RAINE HIRVISAARI

SAMU-PETTERI PÄÄKKÖ (C)

TOMMI GALI VALLS

TOBIAS WECKSTRÖM

ILARI KOKKONEN

Marko Sallert HEAD COACH

TBA, ASSISTANT COACH

Linus Backman BACKS COACH

TRAINING

Juniors

FROM 23/5 THURSDAYS 18:30-19:30 @ KOKON GRASS PITCH
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Mens

TUESDAYS 18:00-19:30 @ KOKON ASTRO PITCH
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THURSDAYS 19:45-22:00 @ KOKON ASTRO PITCH
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Miesten treeniajat

Miesten kausi on päättynyt. Nyt on aika levätä. Miesten virallinen harjoittelu jatkuu alkuvuodesta 2024, mutta jos haluat osallistua epäviralliseen harjoitteluun, kentällä on tilaa junioreiden harjoittelun aikana - katso alla. Jos olet kiinnostunut kokeilemaan rugbya, ota yhteyttä +358408655733.

Junioreiden treeniajat

Juniori rugby jatkuu tiistaisin hamarissa klo 18-19. Uudet innokaat juniorit ja heidän vanhemmat voivat olla yhteydessä +358 40 8326626

Men's training times

The men's season has ended. Now it's time to rest. Official men's training will resume in early 2024, but if you want to take part in informal training, there will be space on the pitch during junior training - see below. If you are interested in trying rugby, please contact +358408655733

Juniors' training times

Junior rugby continues on Tuesdays at Hamari from 18-19. New, enthusiastic juniors and their parents can contact +358 40 8326626

JUNIORS

Juniors Picture 2 Juniors Picture 3
Juniors Picture

Juniorit treenaavat tiistaisin hamarin nurmella Klo 18-19 00
Juniori rugbyä on jatkettu. Otamme avoimin käsin vastaan kaikki nuoret ja lajista kiinnostuneet mukaan. Tällä hetkellä seura kaavaile jo ensimmäisiä pelejä junioreille. Jos olet kiinnostunut, otathan yhteyttä suomeksi numeroon +358408326626 Juniori koordinaattori/valmentaja ja ruotsiksi +358401930772 apuvalmentaja.
JUNIORIT PELAAVAT MYÖS MATSEJA YMPÄRI VUODEN

Juniors train on Tuesdays at Hamari Kenttä from 18-19 00
Junior rugby has been resumed. We welcome with open arms all youngsters and those interested in the sport. At the moment the club is already planning the first games for juniors. If you are interested, please contact us in Finnish at +358408326626 Junior coordinator/coach and in Swedish at +358401930772 assistant coach.
JUNIORS ALSO PLAY MATCHES ALL YEAR ROUND

FIXTURES

Fixtures

2024 Championship

OTS FIXTURES & RESULTS

1.6 SHAMROCKS - TAMPERE 00 - 00

15.6 SHAMROCKS - WARRIORS 00 - 00

29.6 SHAMROCKS - EAGLES 00 - 00

13.7 SHAMROCKS - HELSINKI 00 - 00

20.7 HELSINKI - SHAMROCKS 00 - 00

3.8 WARRIORS - SHAMROCKS 00 - 00

17.8 TAMPERE - SHAMROCKS 00 - 00

24.8 KALEV - SHAMROCKS 00 - 00

31.8 EAGLES - SHAMROCKS 00 - 00

14.9 SHAMROCKS - KALEV 00 - 00

21.9 SEMI FINAL TBD

28.9 CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL TBD

MEDIA

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RECRUITMENT

Recruiting Image 1

NEW PEOPLE AND PLAYERS WELCOME

Rugby is a sport with a rich history and tradition, and it has garnered a passionate following all over the world. Here are the core principles of rugby, both in terms of gameplay and its broader ethos, followed by reasons for its appeal both on and off the field:

1. TEAMWORK: Rugby is a team sport, and success often hinges on the coordination, communication, and camaraderie of the players.

2. RESPECT: Players are taught to respect their opponents, referees, and the game itself. The referee's decision is final, and players are expected to accept without dissent unlike many, many other sports

3. DISCIPLINE: Rugby demands a high level of discipline, both in terms of adhering to the rules and in training and preparation.

4. INTERGRITY: Fair play is essential. Players are taught to be honest in their actions on the field, and cheating is heavily discouraged.

5. PASSION: The love for the game drives players to give their best during each match and training session.

WE WANT YOU TO GET INVOLVED

We want you to get involved with us because Rugby is one of the most enjoyable sports in the world. But why is it?

1. INCLUSIVITY: Rugby has positions suited for various body types, fitness and skill sets. Whether you're tall, short, heavy, or light, there's a place for you in rugby.

2. PHYSICALITY: The game's physical nature offers an adrenaline rush to both players and spectators. Tackles, runs, and tries all add to the excitement.

3. STRATEGY: Behind the apparent chaos, there's a lot of strategy involved in rugby. Teams need to think several moves ahead and adjust their tactics based on the game's flow.

4. POST MATCH COMRADARIE: One of the unique aspects of rugby culture is the post-match gathering where both teams come together to share a meal and drinks. It reinforces the spirit of respect and friendship.

5. LOCAL AND GLOBAL COMMUNITY: Rugby has a strong local community here in Porvoo and a strong global community. Major events like the Rugby World Cup bring local fans together, and fans from all over the world together, fostering a sense of unity and shared passion.

If you want to to get involved with the Old Town Shamrocks, we'd love to have you! Please see the Contact section below and get in touch with us today!

Recruiting Image 2

CONTACT

For new people/players, contact our Chairman directly

Old Town Shamrocks Rugby Club ry

Kirkkokatu 1A 1b

06100 Porvoo, Finland

Chairman: Stefan Rogers +358 40 8655733

Club Email: porvoo@finland.rugby

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