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Update Four From MD Max Venables

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Michael Jordon came from rags to riches following an illustrious basketball career. “You never know what you can accomplish if you try, “said Michael. Fifteen seasons in the NBA, a record six Championships with Chicago Bulls and a multi-million-dollar fortune, confirm that his propensity to ‘try and try again ‘paid huge dividends.

As a boy, Michael played second fiddle to his brother and many of his peers. He was a ‘prodigious trier’ who never gave up committing his all to relentless practice, training and skill development. Michael’s efforts earned an athletics scholarship to the University of North Carolina, where his basketball prowess went up several gears earning him a number 3 draft to the NBA.

When the Rookie Michael joined the Chicago Pro Basketball Club, the Bulls were in bad shape. Player discipline and performance was at an all-time low. Chicago Bulls were massively underachieving and considered something of a joke by the City fans and the NBA in general. It was certainly not the franchise the young Jordan was expecting.

Distancing himself from the lacklustre nature of the team, Jordan said little allowing his playing performance do his talking. The rest, as they say, is history, with both the Bulls and Jordan rising to exceptional heights of excellence. A quite brilliant TV series recording Jordan’s sporting life and his struggles for success is currently screening on Netflix (The Last Dance) and is well worth a watch. I say this because his commitment to ‘try and try again’ changed the nature, fortunes and culture of Chicago Bulls, the NBA’s most successful team of all time. It is a culture and attitude I am keen to build here at Plymouth Albion.

There is a chasm of difference between a level 3 English Rugby Club Plymouth and a multi-million NBA Franchise but, as I see it, the culture, attitude and commitment to ‘try and try again’ is an element we are building into the nature and mindset of all associated with Plymouth Albion.

I am pleased to report that Chris Bentley has been working with me behind the scenes at Brickfields. Chris is a vastly experienced player with 125 games for Exeter Chiefs, 3 seasons in New Zealand and spells with French giants Biarritz and Pro 14 Edinburgh Gunners. After hanging up his boots following a 13-year professional playing career, Chris moved to the Chiefs commercial team as Corporate Sales Executive. He worked under the tutorage of Tony Rowe for 6 years at Sandy Park and is hugely experienced in ‘The Business of Business’ in elite level rugby.

Chris is joining us as Albion’s Commercial Manager bringing vast experience, contacts and an abundance of enthusiasm to our executive team. Watch this space.

The ‘Albion 2020 Heroes ‘crowdfunding initiative continues to progress exceptionally well. More than 50% of our target is already secured and still time for other sports fans to add their donation to support the cause. ‘Making Albion Great Again’ is our aim. Join us and add your support to the cause. Thanks to one and all who have donated thus far.

My missive last week identified the winds of change currently blowing through the corridors of power, in elite level rugby circles. It is, of course, an area of great interest to me and the future of our club. Chris Bentley is very much involved with developments in the game and clear on his vision and understanding for the future of elite-level competitive club rugby in and just below the Premiership.

There have been several ‘false dawns’ at Plymouth Albion in recent years. Those ‘pie in the sky’ aspirations and broken promises are things of the past. Chris and I are working on a down to earth blueprint to present to you all for the future of our club. Measuring twice and cutting once, as opposed to rushing forward with blind optimism is the plan. Yes, it is time to climb, but built on the firm foundations of reality, prudence and sound sustainable business sense is what will secure the future of our club

There will be a ‘New Normal’ once the Coronavirus lockdown ends. In these challenging times, Plymouth Albion is well placed to become leaders in the field of rugby club organisation, sustainability and culture. Watch this space.

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Managing Director, Max Venables

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Update Five from MD Max Venables