Timeline: February 8th, 2015
Minutes of the 2015 Annual General Meeting for Tokyo Gaijin RFC
Location: Balamie Bar & Restaurant
Chair: Joffa Harris
Minutes: Eamonn Murphy
1. Election of Team Officials for 2015
1. Team Administrators for Tokyo Cup and Shuto League (prev. Yamagen & Natsu Kunitomo)
1.1 Discussion and Candidacy
Natsu Kunitomo has stepped down from the role due to personal reasons. Yamagen expressed a wish for more help in the day-to-day running of the club. Wataru Sato has been helping him gather all the necessary details from players for registration of players for Tokyo Cup. Yoshihiro Sato and Ryo Takahashi also offered their hands to assist when necessary. John Simpson was mentioned as a reliable 'go-to' man for meetings etc when others weren't available.
1.2 Outcome - Yamagen & Wataru Sato
Yamagen will continue to oversee the day-to-day running of the club. Wataru Sato will continue to gather and collate players details for the Tokyo Cup and look after the registration and insurance of those players. Those two will attend all the necessary meetings and Yoshihro Sato and Ryo Takahashi will help out when needed. Others said they would answwer the call when it is required.
2. Team Manager (Previously Phillip Ferreira)
2.1 Discussion and Candidacy
Phillip Ferreira Stepped down from the Manager's position when he transferred to Thailand back in September. Current Assistant Manager Ryo Takahashi & Joffa Harris then filled out the role for the rest of the year. Ryo said that he would be happy to continue as Assistant Manager but that he would probably be too busy with work to take on the Manager's role. Joffa Harris siad he wanted 'new blood' in the role and did not wish to continue but would help out when necessary. Gorka Gerdiaga and Yoshiro Sato were nominated for the position and accepted their nominations.
2.2 Outcome - Gorka Gerediaga
Gorka Gerediaga was nominated as the new Manager for 2015.
3. Assistant Manager (Previously Ryo Takahashi)
3.1 Discussion and Candidacy
As discussed in 2.1, Ryo Takahashi said that he would be happy to continue in the role of Assistant Manager but may be busy due to work at certain stages of the year. Yoshihiro Sato was also nominated and accepted.
3.2 Outcome - Ryo Takahashi & Yoshihiro Sato
Ryo Takahashi & Yoshihiro Sato were both given the Assistant Manager's job in a dual role. Yoshihiro will continue to send out game day details in Japanese for those who do not understand English so well.
4. Team Captain (Previously Lachlan Ainley)
4.1 Discussion and Candidacy
Lachlan Ainley expressed an interest in stepping down from the position prior to the AGM due to the fact that he will be leaving Japan to go back to Australia in July and cannot continue the role for the full year. Lachlan, who was not present at the meeting, was thanked for the great job he did in 2014, namely in helping the team through an undefeated Shuto League season after coming back from a 3 month injury layoff.
Tomohiro Setoguchi, Apisai Bati and Eamonn Murphy were nominated for the position and accepted. It was noted that Apisai Bati had done a good job of captaining the team when current Captain Lachlan Ainley & Vice Captain Toshi Miyano were out injured.
4.2 Outcome - Apisai Bati
After listening to speeches from the three about why they should be captain, 45 year old Apisai Bati was voted in as the new Captain for 2015 in a narrow win over Tomohiro Setoguchi.
5. Team Vice Captain (Previously Toshi Miyano)
5.1 Discussion and Candidcay
No further discussion was added. The team took a re-vote to decide who would be vice-captain between Tomohiro Setoguchi and Eamonn Murphy.
5.2 Outcome - Eamonn Murphy
Eamonn Murphy won the Vice-captaincy role with a narrow one vote victory over Tomohiro Setoguchi.
6. Club Treasurer (Previously Blake Walker)
6.1 Discussion and Candidacy
Blake Walker stepped down from the role when he left Japan in December for his native New Zealand. Joffa Harris expressed a desire to stem the leaking funds of 2014. He was the only person nominated for the job. Paul Bertier offered assistance in securing team fees from some of the 'tight-fisted' players.
6.2 Outcome - Joffa Harris, assisted by Paul Bertier
Joffa Harris accepted the role and was happy to have help from Paul Bertier.
2. Matters Arising
Joffa Harris spoke on behalf of current Treasurer Blake Walker, who recently departed for New Zealand. Blake was quite concerned that the club leaked quite a bit of money in 2014 to leave them in the red for the year but still with a comfortable bank balance overall. From Blake: "We are definitely down on finances from where we were at last year, primarily due to many not paying fees, and lots of costs accrued through poor party management and the team chipping in to cover people that didn't pay, and also individuals making decisions on things when it was the team accruing the cost. There was a number of guys that have promised to pay this years fees (2014) at the start of next year. I have included the file of this years fee payers." None of those players stepped up and paid there fees for 2014 at the AGM, although Joffa Harris had received a phone call from one player late last year to say that he would pay them early ijn 2015.
A problem arises when people who do not pay fees, play in the Tokyo Cup. The Tokyo Cup costs around 400, 000 yen which includes compulsory player registration with the Tokyo Rugby Union and insurance coverage. When players don't pay fees it costs the club a lot of excess bills that cuts into team savings. It was requested that players pay, at the very least, for insurance before the Tokyo cup. It was decided that people who had paid no fees by the start of the Tokyo Cup pay 1,000 yen per game to try to make up the short fall.
Team fees for the year are 20,000 yen. If you only play half a year, for example the spring season from say January to July, then you only have to pay 10,000 yen. Fees are very important for the club to survive. Fees cover things like player registration, player insurance, ground fees, referee fees, farewell gifts, end of year awards for players and helpers and other sundry expenses eg. after-match beers for Man of Match and Goat of Game etc.
New Treasurer Joffa Harrris offered a once off 1,000 yen discount for fees paid on the night - only 7 players took up the offer.
A chronic problem with some players in the Tokyo Gaijin RFC is lateness. It was emphasized that if we are to succeed as a team we need to be on time. The game starts when we gather at the station and when people are late, constantly, it affects our performance. We spend far too much time waiting at stations for late people. Something needs to be done to discourage lateness. Penalties were discussed for people that are late without notice.
Late to games: Every ten minutes of lateness means 100 yen into the Man of the Match beer kitty. Washing of jerseys may also be added to this. Paul Bertier was keen to be Joffa's debt collector.
Late to training: Extra drills and/or money towards after training beers.
A 100 yen per 10 minutes late fee was adopted. Paul Bertier was keen to be the debt collector.
3. Medical Kit
Every team must have registered medical staff for Tokyo Cup. This was not fully discussed and will need further discussion. Yoshihiro Sato is the only current member with Medical cards. If the team is desperate we can hire medical staff on Tokyo Cup games. This will cost around 3, 000 to 4, 000 yen per game.
Yoshihiro Sato has been responsible for the medical kit for the last year. He expressed a wish to continue to bring the medical kit and look after its contents, buying new contents when needed.Other Japanese members said that they would get the kit off him on weekends when he has to work.
4. Running Group
A group of guys gets together every Friday evening at Oda Field in Yoyogi Park. Sessions, run by Gorka Gerediaga, were restarted late last year. So far there have only been 4 regular attendees - Gorka, Joffa Harris, Eamonn Murphy and Paul Bertier. The meet usually involves a couple of 1km runs, 400 metres, 200 metres and some shorter sprints. We are usually finished by 8:45pm. There are showers in the locker room. So if you want to get fitter, which can only benefit your own play, and ultimately the team benefits, then get along to Yoyogi Park. Be at the track at 7pm. A few lagers are often imbibed after each session. Far more forwards have been attending than backs thus far!!
Apisai Bati also runs a fitness session on Saturday mornings with his kids from 10am at Akatsuka Koen (nearest station: Takashimadaira Station). Everyone is welcome to join.
Tomohiro Setoguchi is currently managing everything to do with the Gaijin's annual trip to the Philippines to play in the Manila 10's. He expressed a desire for more support from the playing group to get behind these tours. He basically said that you can't have more fun in one weekend than you can at the Manila 10's. He was worried that there had been some late cancellations which makes his job so much harder.
Watru Sato and Yamagen will continue to organize the Sugadaira and Yamanashi bus tours.
6. Gear Stewards
Joffa Harris has looked after most of the training gear in the past. He expressed wishes to share the stuff around. Eamonn Murphy offered to control the training balls and Gorka Gerediaga & Tomohiro Setoguchi were happy to help out with other stuff for training eg. cones.
The team will continue to wear the jerseys sponsored by Oakwood Serviced Apartments. Last year original team captain and owner of Shin hi no Moto (aka. Andy's Bar), Andy Lunt offered to buy the team a set of jerseys. Designs and details have been decided upon by the management committee but it has been a long and painful process. The team is in negotiations with Saburo Takahashi (ex-Gaijin player now with London Japanese) who works at Rhino Rugby but things are moving along very slowly. opefully the team will have a new set of jerseys soon.
The Manila 10's jerseys will be sponsored by The Woodsman's Head again. If you are ever in Burgos Street, Makati (Manila), drop in for one of their delicious meals and a pint.
A few of the Japanese players in the team, namely Tomohiro Setoguchi & Yamagen, expressed the mood that the team had too many Japanese players and we had to recruit more foreigners as the team name was Tokyo 'Gaijin' RFC. Players were encouraged to bring friends and talk to people at their local gyms etc. Further brain-storming on this will be carried out by the new team management.
It is hoped that ex-Gaijin player Mauro Sauco will continue to run the team website from Singapore. Eamonn Murphy and Gorka Gerediaga expressed a desire for a few changes to the makeup of the website and said that they would contact Mauro to talk this over.