CHARD RFC has announced that Matt Tinley will be the club captain for the forthcoming season.

He takes over the role from Ryan Helliar, who held the role for four seasons, the longest appointment of captain in over 50 years.

Tinley has played for Chard since he was eight, learning his trade in the Chard Minis and Juniors, before making his senior debut with the 2nd XV – a team he would captain for a number of seasons – and securing his 1st XV debut against Stothert & Pitt when the team played in Somerset 1.

Tinley said: “I’ve been fortunate to play at Chard for 20 years, working my way up the ranks.

“Over this time I’ve had the pleasure to play with and be coached by some iconic names in Chard Rugby Club’s history, so I hope I can follow in the same fashion and do the club proud.

“We have had a difficult couple of seasons on the pitch but the one thing I’m proud to say about Chard is, even though the results haven’t gone our way sometimes, our players are a united family, willing to give everything they can for each other.

“With this we successfully deliver three senior sides each weekend in competitive leagues and a well-developing ladies’ team.

“That is a huge achievement in this modern day.

“We are lucky to be able to introduce a new player-coach this year in Ben Thomas, leading the coaching team of John Hendy and Matt Ayres.

“Tim Morris has also joined the club and will be coaching the 2nd XV.

“We will be looking to develop the talented young squad we have and improve our game management to get results for the coming season.

“I’d like to thank the support of the players so far, even before the season started, and the committee for trusting me with the task ahead.”

Tinley will be sponsored by All Water Technology and is encouraging any other business who wants to get involved in grassroots community sport to become a player sponsor.

The season gets underway when official pre-season training starts on July 2 at the main club, building to a number of friendlies in August.

The league gets underway with a derby at home to Wellington on September 7.

To contact Chard RFC about playing or sponsoring, you can get in touch with chairman John Williams via