Rugby club opens new facilities

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The local rugby club celebrated the opening of new facilities in Banchory - despite the pouring rain.

Deeside, who play in BT Caledonia Regional League Division 3 North, were joined by Scottish Rugby Chairman, Sir Moir Lockhead last Tuesday, October 7, as well as Edinburgh Rugby winger Jamie Farndale and stand-off Carl Bezuidenhout at Woodend Playing Fields to turn on their new floodlights.

The lights were funded predominantly through the club’s own capital and with the support of sportscotland and the government’s CashBack for Communities facilities fund.

It is hoped that the implementation of the new lights will be a catalyst to help the continued growth of rugby in the surrounding area.

Club president, Ian Finlayson, said: “The new lights will mean we can rotate training around the pitch rather than all our teams training under one light in one corner of the ground.

“This project has taken two years and is the beginning of our grand idea to build a permanent club facility here at Woodend Playing Fields.

“We moved to the ground three years ago and at that time changed our name from Aboyne to Deeside to reflect the area we service, all the way up the valley and to Aberdeen.

“This was a really positive step because previously we had a senior team and one youth team, now we have teams from micros (primary one) all the way up.

“The new lights will help us to ensure we can develop the performances of our teams. What we want to see is promotion for our senior side and the coach has set a challenge to play at BT Murrayfield in a final.

“We also want to develop our under-18 team and get it back in the Scottish Rugby Youth League so we can establish it as a feeder to the first XV, and strengthen the connection between those sides.

“We’re thankful for all the support we have received in helping to build the brand of Deeside Rugby Club.”

Scottish Rugby Chairman, Sir Moir Lockhead, said: “I was delighted to help Deeside turn on their new lights at Woodend.

“It’s great to see the hard work they have put in to achieve their goals in such a short period of time, particularly with the support of Alexander Burnett who owns the land. He is a big rugby supporter who has helped the club a great deal.

“Deeside have a fantastic youth section that is going from strength to strength and these new lights will help that growth continue.”

The CashBack for Communities rugby facilities fund ran from 2011 to 2012 and has seen 31 clubs benefit from £1.25 million.