Booth and Webster the major winners at Buccaneers annual awards ceremony

Buccaneers Women's 'Player of the Year' was awarded to Aoibhe Kelly who is pictured receiving her accolade from Connacht and Ireland rugby player, Jack Carty

Buccaneers Women's 'Player of the Year' was awarded to Aoibhe Kelly who is pictured receiving her accolade from Connacht and Ireland rugby player, Jack Carty

Ciaran Booth and Martin Webster were the major winners at the Buccaneers annual awards ceremony on Saturday night.

Dynamic back rower, Booth, was named Buccaneers 'Senior Player of the Year' while long-serving club stalwart, Webster, was a worthy recipient of the 'Club Person of the Year' accolade.

Buccaneers players continue to represent the club on numerous Ireland teams and presentations were made in respect of eight players who donned the green jersey this season as well as a further six players from the preceding year.

Award Winners

Ciaran Booth - a recent Ireland U20 Six Nations winner, Ciaran may be one of the club’s few “exiles” but he truly bought in to Buccs’ ethos. Not sure whether he supports red or blue in his native Manchester, but when he dons the black and gold of Buccaneers he is a dynamic on-field presence. Ciaran was among the club’s leading try-scorers during the AIL campaign and a healthy proportion of his tries were spectacular efforts from deep in his own half. Although still very young, he is a real leader in the group, both on and off the pitch, and an eminently worthy recipient of Buccaneers 'Senior Player of the Year' award.

Aoibhe Kelly - Aoibhe gave up intercounty gaelic football two years ago to give rugby a try with the Buccaneers U18’s girls squad. Her commitment and dedication this season have been a driving force in the re-establishment of the club’s senior women's team. When Aoibhe puts on her gold and black jersey she transforms into a ‘pocket rocket’ who does not shy away from any tackle. She has scored a try in virtually every match this season and her displays at scrumhalf have resulted in Aoibhe being invited to Connacht training. This giggly girl is Buccaneers 'Women's Player of the Year'.

Cedric Fokam - affectionately known as ‘The Cedgehammer’ is the quiet assassin of Buccaneers junior team whether it is dismantling opposition scrums or smashing lads in the tackle. He diligently goes about his business with near ruthless efficiency. Cedric is an extremely popular and well-respected teammate, who has finally learned to ‘floor’ a few pints of Guinness! Coaches and players alike were unanimous in their choice of Cedric as Buccaneers 'Junior Player of the Year'.

Cian McCann is a prodigy from Leinster underage club rugby with his home club Portarlington RFC who jumped at the chance to join Buccaneers after coming through Connacht 'Coach of the Year' Charlie Couper’s rugby programme at TUS Athlone. McCann burst on the scene here with a number of outstanding performances on the First XV and was a stalwart presence in the club’s unbeaten U20s as they won a Leinster League and Harry Gale Cup double. He put in regular excellent match-winning displays and also featured on the junior team. Cian is underage for the U20 grade again next season and a fantastic successful rugby career is forecast for the Buccaneers 'U20 Player of the Year'.

Evan Galvin - the Covid pandemic brought an abrupt halt to so much worldwide including the cancellation of the 2019-20 All-Ireland League just as it was entering the business end of the season. Consequently, all matches and events like the awards Night fell victim to the virus. Up to that point one player had been especially consistent in influential performances for Buccaneers and he has since proved a wonderful captain in leading the Pirates to promotion to AIL Division 1B. The club recognised that contribution retrospectively by honouring Evan Galvin as 'Senior Player of the Year' for 2019-20. We wish him all the best on his venture to Canada but look forward to him returning to play again in the future!

Martin Webster - the final award of the event was the presentation of 'Club Person of the Year' an accolade considered by many in the club to be the ultimate honour. This year it went to a member who is synonymous with Buccaneers and who represents the real heartbeat of Buccs. Growing up in Mayfield Grove across the road from the old clubhouse, it was almost inevitable that he would take up rugby. And indeed he did, initially with Athlone and then Buccaneers for many a season, often when they were far from as successful as currently. Nevertheless, he dutifully kept on manning the front row trenches before finding his true calling, often far from the limelight. He is present almost daily during the season, more often than not when no one else is around, attending to his tasks. On match days he is usually without fail the first to arrive to ensure everything is in order for the team. The big man was hugely emotional as he was presented with the ‘MICHAEL HANLEY MEMORIAL PERPETUAL CUP’ by First team player Michael Hanley, who is son of the man commemorated by this fine piece of silverware.

The 'Player of the Year' awards were presented on behalf of Audi Athlone by Ian Moore while Connacht captain and Ireland international Jack Carty presented the Athlone Crystal trophies to the club’s various International players.

 

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