What a debut year for Padraic O’Shaughnessy with the Maasstricht Maraboes Rugby club – they were crowned Second Division Champions and secured promotion to the Dutch Men’s First Division.
The Maastricht Maraboes compete in the Men’s Second Division of the Netherlands Rugby Union. Last year they were promoted from the Third Division and enjoyed a successful start to life in the Second Division.
The Maraboes fought their way to the title with impressive wins over R.C Tooval and TE Werve in the closing matches of the championship round. O’Shaughnessy who had a recurrence of his hamstrung injury mid-way through the season worked tirelessly to be fit for the last game of the season at home. He had physio sessions twice a week, numerous weekly gym sessions and his efforts were rewarded when he was selected to start the final game.
O’Shaughnessy noted it was a very special and emotional day for the club, with a large attendance, the local TV station covered the match and each team member came onto the field with a member of the Youth rugby club. Past members of the club were there to celebrate the club’s promotion to the first division for the first time ever and they closed out the season with an impressive win against TE Werve RUFC.
After the game, after the celebrations died down, O’Shaughnessy reflected on the rugby journey that took him to this remote city in the Netherlands which borders Germany and Belgium. His memories included starting rugby with his brother Tadhg at Somersfield under the watchful eye of Garth Lorimer Turner, the many BRFU Sunday rugby sessions and tours with Stephen Robb, Patrick Calow and Devrae Noel Simmons, Sevens training with Waisele Serevi and the many hard fought games in the colors of his beloved Teachers Rugby club.
The Maraboes club is truly international with players from countries such as South Africa, Ireland, England, France, Scotland, and Bermuda! They say you make friends for lifetime on a rugby field and O’Shaughnessy will treasure this year like no other.
Next season, will be a challenge for sure as the Maraboes play at the top table of Dutch rugby but that’s where the Marabloes and O’Shaughnessy want to play and he is looking forward to next season. For now, staying fit is key and getting back involved in local rugby when he returns to the island later this month.