The Club began, to the best of my knowledge, in the early 1980s. The local Bank manager (and in those days Gifford still had a bank) got together with a few of us enthusiasts and with the support of the Goblin Ha’ Hotel the Gifford Mini Goblins was formed.
In the next few years the Club developed with financial support from the Gifford Fuerars and a variety of characters helped out with the coaching and administration of the club.
A set of blue shirts, shorts and socks was bought with the money raised form a sponsored six mile three-legged race – typical of the spirit of the club. In the mid-nineties we organised a competition to design our own strip and after much deliberation came up with the quite distinctive ‘Goblin shirt’.
The club has now a playing strength of around 50 boys and girls and a squad of 10 qualified coaches. We have tremendous support from the SRU through the accreditation scheme but the major contribution comes from our enthusiastic parental support.
We try to play one match every month and the emphasis is on giving the young players the basic skills of the game while understanding that it is to be played for fun and enjoyment.
We take a squad of around 20 to every home international and have always tried to keep the player coach ratio as low as possible which is just as important for the training sessions as it is for the trips to Murrayfield. The fun the coaches have could be summarised by a trip to the Scotland v Wales game a few years ago when a streaker had interrupted the game. The conversation on the way home went something like this.
1st Boy – Did you see the naked man?
2nd Boy – Yes, he was Welsh.
1st boy – No he wasn’t, he was Scottish.
2nd Boy – No, he was Welsh.
1st Boy – He was Scottish, he was wearing a sporran.
2nd Boy – He will be in the jail now with no clothes on.
1st boy – yes, they will have a sign on the door saying “married women must not look”!
The club has a diverse fixture list including local teams and one as far a field as Dundee and we also have an annual parents game (a very dangerous encounter). A dinner is planned for this year and in keeping with the modern trend, we have, as you see, developed our own web site.
In conclusion, we have a unique facility in Gifford and we treasure the firm belief that rugby is a fabulous game to play and the more fun and enthusiasm you put into it the more you will continue to get out of it.