It is brilliant to be writing this on the back of a memorable weekend in Bilbao as Cardiff Blues clinched the European Challenge Cup in the most dramatic fashion.
So much has already been said about the commitment and spirit shown by the boys as they fought back at the San Mamés Stadium, which had us all on the edges of our seat, whether in Bilbao, Cardiff Arms Park or at home.
I am immensely proud of the performance, it is an honour to be CEO of team and company that has achieved this and I am sure the entire weekend will live long in the memory for everyone involved, including myself.
It was a momentous evening for the entire region and there are so many people I want to thank for their unwavering support, perseverance and passion.
It is only right that I start with our chairman, Peter Thomas, who year on year has invested a significant amount of his own personal money to sustain professional rugby in our region. Without him none of this would have been possible.
While Peter is the main benefactor there are others like Martyn Ryan and Paul Bailey, who have continued to support us financially. It is appreciated by us all. I must also thank the rest of the Cardiff Blues board and Cardiff Athletic Club.
To our sponsors and corporate partners, in particular our principal partner Land Rover, you have also played a significant role in this. Your continued investment, support and loyalty is appreciated by us all.
The same goes to our devoted supporters, who year in year out get their season tickets and make Cardiff Arms Park such a special place to call home.
All of the money that flows through the business, whether through the corporate market or ticket sales and retail, is invested in the business and predominantly the rugby operation.
Without the ongoing support of all of you, our benefactors, partners, sponsors and supporters, the team simply wouldn’t exist.
I would also like to thank Danny Wilson and his entire playing and coaching staff for everything they have done. We will be sad to see Danny and Matt Sherratt go but they leave with our very best wishes.
Behind the front-line playing and coaching staff is a wider team, who are exceptional at what they do, they work tirelessly 365 days of year and are the unsung heroes of the company.
As a recognition of their hard work we were delighted to invite the entire work force to join us in Bilbao. They have all played a part in the success of this season and it was a just reward for their continual efforts.
It was wonderful to celebrate the achievement in a private function with virtually the entire Cardiff Blues squad, their wives, girlfriends and families, the work-force, our sponsors and supporters together.
I have already drawn up a three-year strategy that sees this European triumph as the springboard to bigger and better things. This simply has to be the beginning of a journey and not the finishing line.
It is our aim be competing in the latter stages of the Champions Cup and Guinness PRO14 but that will require another level of funding and I am confident we will achieve this.
We are looking forward to a new era with John Mulvihill at the helm and he is already working tirelessly behind the scenes.
We hope to announce the full make-up of our new coaching team very soon and also have a host of re-signings to confirm.
A lot of progress is being made to strengthen our squad in a number of positions and we are also in a strong position given that we are only losing three players.
My thanks go to Damian Welch, Alex Cuthbert and particularly Taufa’ao Filise for their service to the region.
Again we will be sad to see them go but it is testament to our commitment to retaining home-grown talent that they are the only players to leave and we have already begun dialogue with players to extend their contracts beyond next season.
On the commercial front further positive strides are being made and we were delighted to welcome LexisNexis Risk Solutions to our family last week.
Our Season Memberships for 2018-19 have also got off to a very encouraging start and we are well ahead of where we were at this point last year.
With Champions Cup rugby secured there promises to be plenty of mouth-watering occasions at the Arms Park next season, so if you haven’t already snapped up your membership, you can do so by clicking here.
Once again, I must thank you for your continued support. Enjoy the moment but be assured that this is just the start of the journey,