Rugby is going from strength to strength in Ibiza. Ibiza’s rugby club (Ibiza Club de Rugby to use its correct name) has just finished one of its best seasons in recent years, finishing second in The Balearic League (la Liga Balear). Unfortunately they were beaten in the finals in Mallorca by Mallorcan team El Toro, but reaching the finals was a great achievement in itself.
I talked to Mike Blackburn, manager of the club, who told me about the club and their achievements last season. The club has been in existence for 40 years in various guises, but it has re-invented itself in the last 14 years or so under the steerage of Jason Harvey, the current President.
Mike views the season as “an incredible success, considering we had so many players who had not played rugby at all and young players who had come up and never played senior rugby”. “We lost the first game 88-0. The way that they applied themselves for the rest of the season was fantastic. We were the only team to beat the eventual league winners, a team called El Toro. We beat them at home in Ibiza.”
This is where he sees the club at the moment. “We are in a state of transition, we’re building the club. We’re in a good position having come second and I think we’ll go from strength to strength from here. We need to attract new players. We’re always looking for new players to come down and get involved and people to get involved generally with the club. One of the most significant things as well off the pitch was the fact that we opened the piscina (across the road from the stadium) as our clubhouse, and it’s a base and a great place to meet, see friends after the game and have a few beers.” More people have been going to support the team as result of that. However, Mike stressed that “we need more people to get involved, come and support, come down after the game, have a few beers and a bit of chat and just get involved with the club and the game”.
He has high hopes for the next season, saying that they’ll attack the season like they always do, building on the success of this year, and will at least want to finish in the play-offs again, within the top four teams.
Training for the next season will start at the beginning of September and games will start in the first or second week of October.
The club plays at the Rugby Stadium in Can Misses, on the outskirts of Ibiza Town. If you fancy playing, get in touch, and spectators are very welcome (no admission charge). Find more details are on their website and Facebook.