DOSC Members Survey and Judgement Day

To complement the focus groups, the DOSC are also undertaking a survey, to give us the widest possible viewpoints of our members before feeding back to the region.

The open text questions are broadly similar, but with a couple of additional quantitative questions to help us pinpoint certain things.

We’ve got a number of tickets for the Riverside Terrace hospitality suite at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, which will be allocated on a first come/first served basis to genuine survey respondents.

By "genuine", we mean that simply putting the letter x in the open text fields will result in the committee invalidating that submission! We’ll be in contact later this week with those who have been allocated tickets.

 

Please note that whilst the survey is not password protected, we will be cross-referencing submissions with out membership list, and only those submissions from our members will be counted, and included for tickets.

 

Thanks for your continued support -  and get filling in!

 

Name *
Name
Address
Address
On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the most positive), how positive do you think the rebrand has been to the Dragons, in relation to off field matters? *
On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most positive, how do you feel about the Dragons policy to play a home game each year away from Rodney Parade? *
On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most satisfied, how satisifed are you in respect of the ticketing arrangements for Judgement Day? *
On a scale of 1 -5, with 5 being the most satisified, how satisfied are you in the Matchday facilities/entertainment provided by the Dragons *
On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most positive, how positive are you in respect of next season (in terms of on-field performances? *
On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most well run, how well run do you feel the Dragons Official Supporters Club currently is? *
On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most effective, how effective do you think the DOSC are in representing members views to Dragons Management? *

Dragons Offical Supporters Club Focus Groups

The Dragons Official Supporters Club stated ambitions include:

·         “To deliver a professional level of representation to the supporters by fostering a strong relationship with the Region”

·         “Deliver improvements to the Supporters' both on match-day and through Supporter initiatives”.

In order to meet these ambitions it is vital that the DOSC committee engages and canvases its own membership. Only by understanding its member’s priorities can the Committee of the Club represent these to the Dragons management. Therefore a series of focus groups have been arranged:

1.       To gather qualitative feedback from a representative sample of the membership in respect of the operation of the Dragons, which combined with quantitative feedback from a parallel survey will provide the Committee with the necessary information to make representation to management on behalf of the supporters

2.       To gather qualitative feedback from a representative sample of the membership in respect of the operation of the Dragons Official Supporters Club, which combined with quantitative feedback from a parallel survey will provide the Committee with the necessary information to improve the offer of the club to its members.

There will be 2 focus groups held, on the 18th April 2018, and the 26th April 2018. Both will be held at Rodney Parade (exact location TBC) and will start at 7:30pm, and be of 90 minutes duration.

The Focus Groups will be facilitated and noted by a member of the DOSC committee, and application to take part in a focus group will be open only to individuals who are signed up members. In the event that the sessions are oversubscribed, applications will be anonymised by name, and then selected randomly from a hat.

The Focus groups will consist of 2 sections of facilitated discussions - attendees will be able to influence the direction of the discussion, but we will be looking to cover broadly:

Dragons

o   How do you think the first year of the rebranded Dragons has gone?

o   What are your views in respect of the Dragons “long term strategy” going forward?

o   What are your views on the Dragon’s taking games to other venues in the region?

o   What are your views on the current ticketing arrangements for Judgement Day?

o   What are your views on the match day provision of the Dragons?

   DOSC

o   What are your views on how the DOSC is run currently?

o   What are your views on the approach of the DOSC Committee?

o   What more could the DOSC offer that it does not currently do so?

o   What do you think that the DOSC should utilise any surplus funds for?

 

Applications will close next Friday (13th) at 1700h, and attendees notified by 1800h on Sunday 15th. Please note that we will also be looking to run a simultaneous survey to gather as much information as we can from the whole membership, not only those who are able to attend the focus groups. Please use the form below to register your interest

 

 

Name *
Name
Address *
Address
Are you a Dragons Season Ticket Holder (Season Member)? *
If you answered "yes" to the previous question, how long have you held a season ticket for? *

Allez le Dragons....

 A Welsh touring party, in an Irish Bar, in France...

A Welsh touring party, in an Irish Bar, in France...

*DISCLAIMER - The events recounted below are recalled to the best of the writers ability, and no responsibility is accepted for the actual factual content...*

 

The late announcement of the fixtures meant that a last minute scramble for plane tickets ensued just before Christmas. Whilst a large contingent ended up on the Friday night Bristol to Bordeaux flight (which just so happened to also be the players flights), there were intrepid travelers flying from from Stansted, Luton, via Amsterdam, and some into Bergerac. With organisation only slightly less than that of a military operation, the annual shambolic decampment began. 

FRIDAY

Perhaps the first indication of what was to come was when one poor Dragon had his Airport Executive Lounge membership revoked in Bristol after taking "an unreasonable amount of scones" from said lounge to feed the hungry masses still in the bar. Miraculously, everyone managed to get on the flight, though with Gavin Henson sat three rows in front, the temptation to start throwing ice cubes was hard to resist. 

Safe in Bordeaux (with the exception of this poor writer, who got stuck on the airport shuttle bus and wandered aimlessly around the city for 2 hours) refreshments were found, and a taste for Pastis regained.

SATURDAY

  Plas de la Bourse - there was supposed to be a reflection pool, but it was shut

Plas de la Bourse - there was supposed to be a reflection pool, but it was shut

Matchday dawned cold but clear, with a glorious view from the hotel over Bordeaux Cemetery (#102 thing to do in Bordeaux according to TripAdvisor). An early(ish) morning (ok, afternoon) walking tour of the city was undertaken, though the handy guide that one of the tourists had made did have the wrong pictures against the landmarks. Attached is the one cultured picture taken all weekend. 

At 3pm, we set up base camp in the Connemara Pub, where we later met up with the "UBB Angels" (The UBB supporters club). I'm pretty sure there were songs and presentations, but I think the attached photo's tell a better story of the next few hours than my memory allows.

  This woman tried to steal Dan's jersey and hat

This woman tried to steal Dan's jersey and hat

Off we trammed (I'm not sure if that's the right verb - "to tram?") to the ground for the dangerous 9pm start. The Stade Chaban Delmas is a very beautiful old stadium, and of course, one of the tourists had brought a list of facts:

  • Built in 1930 as a cycle racing track
  • Modified in 1935 for the football world cup
  • First stadium in the world with no pillars (oh what luxury for us Hazell dwellers)
  • The longest changing room tunnel in the world at 120 meters (Later verified by "Viz" the Dragons Logistics manager who had to cart all the gear down it...)

Also in place was a "moat" around the pitch, preventing any pitch invasions, scuppering our initial plans.

  We did go to the game - honest...

We did go to the game - honest...

The game - what to say. Most had travelled with a fair bit of trepidation, but the Dragons gave a great account of themselves through the first half, and if truth be told, should have been further ahead. Whilst UBB took control in the second half, the frustrating thing was that this was a game that we could, and maybe even should have won. As we found out the next weekend, a bonus point would have been enough to see us through. Alas, it was not to be. Landman and Pretorius were the standout players for me, with an honourable mention to James Benjamin for taking the longest possible route to the tryline for his score.

So it was back to the Connemara for some, where old traditions were upheld, including the now mandatory 18 verses of Max Boyce's "Duw it's Hard" and for some reason, Art Garfunkle's "Bright Eyes". Suffice to say there were few of those the next day...

 

SUNDAY

*SCENE MISSING*

MONDAY

  Tour - It's not for everyone...

Tour - It's not for everyone...

Monday came around, with the remnants of the decimated touring party heading back to the airport. Poor old Pretorius had stayed with his family for a few days and was also in the airport - and despite his best efforts, he couldn't extricate himself from one Dragon's tourist who bent his ear for several hours about how he used to play with Stuart Barnes at Bassaleg -  no prizes for guessing who....

And so to bed...

 

Supporters' Worthy's Weds & Ed Jackson Fundraiser - Elliot Dee, Sean Holley & more

Please select below for details on how to book tickets for a Supporters event with Elliot Dee, Shaun Holley and much more... in addition this event will also help raise funds for the Hampson Foundation, in support of our own Ed Jackson.

Dragons Supporters Worthy Weds - Elliot Dee & Hampson Foundation Fundraising
5.00

On Wednesday 25th of Oct 2017 at 19:00 we are proud to announce our first formal Dragons' Supporters event of the season.  

Our Sponsors Worthington's have offered significant support in order to help us hold a 'Worthy's Wednesday' Supporter event, for Dragons Supporters to spend an evening together, mixing with members of the playing and coaching staff, and getting an opportunity to win some Dragons' memorbilia.

The event will be held upstairs in the Bisley Suite at Rodney Parade, and will commence at 19:00.  Entrance will be gained through tickets, in the form of charity donations, which are to be purchased prior to the event wherever possible.  We will be able to distribute tickets also on the night.

It is suggested that these tickets are 'sold' for a small charity donation, which will be used towards our chosen charity, the Hampson Foundation.  The Foundation are currently helping with the required support necessary for Dragons' No 8 Ed Jackson to complete his recovery from a serious neck injury.  As such, if you would be so kind, we would therefore ask for a £5 per person donation, in order to help drive the success of the evening.

The evening will be hosted by Sean Holley, and offer a buffet for attendees through the evening.  It will also deliver a number of activities including a raffle for some high quality Dragons' prizes, and a Q&A with Dragons Players and Staff.

It will also be an opportunity for us to present Elliot with his Supporters' player of the month trophy for Sept, and award which I'm sure we all agree is richly deserved based on his form so far this season.

The planned prize draw, including items such as a framed signed Dragons Jersey, will be completed by the sale of raffle tickets on the night.  The proceeds from both this draw, and the suggested ticketing for the event, will be used to help raise funds towards the Hampson Foundation.  More details of which can be found here:  http://matthampsonfoundation.org

As stated the Hampson Foundation have been supporting our own Ed Jackson through his very recent rehabilitation from serious injury, and we therefore feel would be a very worthy cause for us Dragons Supporters to get behind, in their goal to supporting young people recover from serious sports' injuries.

Hopefully you can sacrifice a few hours, and a small amount of funds, on the 25th in support of our Dragons family.

We hope to offer a number of these style events throughout the season, both to the continue the development of the Supporters' relationships with our team/coaches, and also raise money for a very worthwhile charity.

Any questions please get in touch with us through normal channels.  In the meantime we'd really appreciate if you could help spread the word regarding this evening, to not only have an opportunity for us to rightly recognise Elliot's efforts, but also help support Ed Jackson, and those in similar circumstances, through our chosen charity.

#StandUpForTheMenOfGwent

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Dragons Supporter - Get Well Soon Message from Dragons Squad

One of our loyal Dragons' Supporters, Mr David Watts, not only commits much of his time to supporting the team home and away, but also watching the squad train up at Ystrad Mynach.  

An avid autograph and memorabilia collector, David will often identify unique Dragons memorabilia to take up to the team's training base at Ystrad, or Rodney Parade, Principality Stadium on match days, and spend numerous hours waiting for his heroes to sign and personalise the products for him.

The Dragons squad recently discovered that David has been in and out of hospital with health concerns, and led by Brok Harris, they arranged a surprise for him on his next visit to the Ystrad Mynach Training base.

Believing he was had been arranged an opportunity for Hallam Amos to sign a picture for him, without his knowing the entire squad had assembled in the team room.  When David arrived the entire squad presented him with a signed Dragons home shirt, and offered a round of applause for his loyal support, and wished him all the very best with his recent health concerns.  

David clearly appreciated the kind efforts that had gone into this from the squad, and was moved by such a touching gesture.  

We would like to join the squad in wishing David all the very best, and look forward to seeing him cheering on the lads at Exeter this Saturday.. #SUFTMOG

Away Travel - Exeter Chiefs vs Dragons

We are pleased to announce that we have upgraded our website over the off season to be able to support both card and PayPal payments.  This means that we can arrange to support online booking for Away Travel, and other initiatives we will be looking at introducing to continue fundraising for the Dragons' Supporters.

As such, we have now booked transport for the forthcoming away trip to the Exeter Chiefs on Sat 19th Aug 17.  The coach will be provided by Dragons' Partner Edwards, and will depart Rodney Parade at 11:30 am.  The coach is expected to then depart Sandy Park at 18:00.

A variety of packages are available, coach only, coach and seated match tickets, or coach and standing match tickets.  To book online please use link below.

Dragons' Pre Season Fitness Assessments

Prior to the Dragons players being afforded a week long break to recover from the gruelling pre season conditioning sessions that Bernard Jackman and the team had been putting the lads through, a Friday afternoon fitness assessment was completed for the whole Squad.

The test was a variation on a Multi-Stage fitness test, with cones laid out on the pitch, and the Players expected to reach certain cones prior to an audible 'beep'.  As the test progresses the time between the beeps decreases, and therefore the Players have to run quicker and quicker, as the stages move on.  The level achieved is then recorded for each player, as a method of measuring and monitoring their cardiovascular levels through the season.

The Players carried out these tests in groups, allocated by positions, so firstly the backs, followed by the front row players, and then back 5 forwards.  The process was managed and monitored by the Head of Strength and Conditioning Ryan Harris, who has been responsible for leading a number of the Conditioning sessions that we've observed on our visits to training this Summer.

The test itself built into a sprint by the end, with already fatigued Players having to push incredibly hard to get up the pace.  The effort on show was exceptional, especially considering the conditions on the day.  All the players pushed themselves to the limits, and without exception performed very well, and within their respective groups Angus O'Brien, James Thomas and Elliott Dee all had enough in the tank to just outlast their peers.

Hope the guys have a great week's break, they have undoubtedly earnt it..

Dragons vs Usk Charity Cricket Match

The Dragons today supported a Summer Charity T20 cricket match at the home of Usk Cricket Club, with both the Dragons and Usk supporting two worthy charities throughout the day, with both being causes that the team will continue to support fundraising initiatives for throughout this year.  

This year's collections and contributions will be raised for the Matt Hampson Foundation (on behalf of Ed Jackson) and the Rhiannon Jade Smith Memorial Trust.  Rhiannon's Trust was set up following the death of Rhiannon in a car crash in nearby Llandevaud, and the Matt Hampson Foundation will be supporting Ed with his rehabilitation from his recent serious neck injury.

Throughout the day Food was cooked by a group of the South African Players that hadn't donned the Playing Whites, putting on a South African braai for all, and Dragons' No9 Charlie Davies also demonstrated some alternative skills by Dj-ing after the match.  

The day itself was supported by Bernard Jackman and the entire Dragons squad, offering a glimpse of the respect and sincere goodwill held towards Ed, who is such a large personality and popular member of the Squad with both Players and Supporters alike.

The game was opened with the Dragons fielding, and Elliot and Rynard offering a twin pace attack to start off.  They were backed up by the impressive Zane Kirtchner, who at first change offered real threat to the Usk batsmen.

Match report details unfortunately tail off after this point... with the Cider definitely NOT a factor in this...

However, what can be confirmed was the Dragons managed to chase down the target Usk set, and proved victorious on the day.

Dragons Charity Cricket Squad: Rynard Landman ©, Elliot Dee, Sarel Pretorius, James Thomas, Rhys Buckley, Will Talbot-Davies, Angus O’Brien, Robson Blake, James Benjamin, Zane Kirchner, Cory Hill, Dorian Jones & Pete Grzonka (Dragons Commercial Director)

IMG_4645.JPG

We'd like to obviously take the opportunity to thank all those that helped organise, and contributed on the day, it was fantastic to see the Cricket and Rugby Communities coming together for such noble causes.

From a Dragons' Supporters perspective we are very keen to continue this momentum through the season now, and help plan and organise a number of other events to help contribute towards Ed's recovery, and demonstrate just how much the Dragons Family are thinking of him.

Ed's determination and drive, coupled with an amazingly positive and can-do attitude, has been nothing short of remarkable, and is a lesson to all of us.  Both Ed and his family have been dealt a hugely testing challenge, but the way he continues to strive forwards through this adversity, with an almost obssesive drive, and a smile on his face, is phenomenal.

Stay strong Ed, we're all thinking of you....

#SUFTMOG

Dragons Pre Season Training - Supporters View

With the well received appointment of the New Dragons Head Coach Bernard Jackman, and the many change initiatives that have already been introduced into our Region, has come a more open and engaging attitude towards Supporters, which obviously we applaud and value greatly.

One of these new initiatives has been Bernard opening training sessions at Ystrad Mynach for Supporters to attend, and view for themselves his vision for the team, and the methods he intends to introduce.  What is clear already, is there is an intensity and clarity of thinking in training, with the Players aware of exactly what is expected of them.

The recurring theme of the Pre Season sessions we've witnessed so far, is core skills and decision making under fatigue, where Bernard and the staff will stress the players to physical limits and then encourage them to complete precise team runs or skill based drills replicating in-game conditions as much as practical.

The sessions have all been clearly well defined, with a fast and seamless transition between sets, and the players constantly on the move.  One such training run was fatiguing players through cardio and then resistance based stations, and then rotating through very accurate and high paced handling drills.  This was then continually repeated over, with high standards expected to be sustained throughout.

Throughout the training the mood and spirits within the squad seem high, and despite the physically brutal nature of the sessions, it is evident that the lads were enjoying the challenge and really thriving in the environment.

Anybody that has spent any time with this Dragons squad will undoubtedly testify that they are a superb group of guys, and to see them working without some of the stresses and baggage of last season is something that is really refreshing and encouraging for the season ahead.

With the much publicised number of young local talent within the Squad, Bernard has often stated that their continued development is down to the environment that he and his coaching staff develop and foster.  Watching training, and seeing some of our undoubtedly high quality young players being challenged and pushed to limits really bodes well for their continued progression in the game.

Once you start considering the names of some of the talent at the Region, the list becomes almost endless, with the likes of Leon Brown, Elliot Dee, Cory Hill, Max Williams, Robson Blake, Ollie Griffiths, Harri Keddie, James Benjamin a very small selection in the pack, and AOB, Dorian Jones, Arwel Robson, Jack Dixon, Tyler Morgan, Hallam Amos and Ashton Hewitt another small list of the young backs available to us.  With the right environment, access to the coaching and resources that will hopefully come next season, and the right amount of game-time, it would be great to imagine a number of those names being considered for international honours in the future. 

What is also notable about Bernard's well received intent to open training for Supporters is the time that the Players all make to engage with those that have taken the time to attend.  

It is fantastic to see this openness, and the intent to develop further the sense of a family within the Dragons' community.

From our perspective this not only fosters a far stronger bond between Supporters and their team, but also affords the Supporters the insight into how much it all means to the Players, and how much they value our time and Support.  

This is also highlighted by the efforts of Bernard Jackman himself, who will always take time out to come across and chat with Supporters, and often give up his time and resources to help coaches from the Region's community game.  This level of engagement and support with the Rugby community of our Region is to be applauded, and is something that is encouraging for the months ahead.

If you are a Dragons Supporter, or coach within the Region, we'd encourage you strongly to attend a few sessions at Ystrad Mynach when you can, it is a fascinating insight into the pro game, offers a number of rewarding experiences, and is overall a hugely positive experience.