Dilanjan to lead CH & FC from the front

Dilanjan Jayasekera talking to their new coach Jeff Matheson

CH and FC one of the oldest rugby playing clubs since colonial times has produced some of the best rugby players down the line. To my memory the names like Mike Davis, a daring centre, John Arenhold, South African Maurice Marrinon, John Burrows, etc come to mind. Later came the likes of Sri Lanka players like Y.C. Chang, Bryan Baptist, Lorensz Pereira, Saman Jayasinghe, Roshan Perera, ‘Shan’ Perera, Iqbal Hassan, Hisham Abdeen, Ravi Vijenathan, Ray de Silva along with expatriates Apsi Nagata and Simon Hunter took over the limelight.

The Maitland Crescent Club last year enjoyed a good season, coming third in the league and runners-up in the Clifford Cup to Kandy SC. This year they are looking forward to enjoy a better season. The team is being coached by former All Blacks player Jeff Matheson, who is no stranger to Sri Lankan rugby. He coached the national team in 1990 for the Asiad staged here. The Lankans did reasonably well, even defeated Chinese Taipei.

The CH team this season will be led by that indefatigable second-rower Dilanjan Jayasekera, better known as Bertie, to the rugby fans. He is the first Thomian to lead the CH and FC.

Speaking to the Sunday Times skipper Dilanjan said “I am hopeful that we can forge ahead. But still have to wait and see. They must possess self belief, mental toughness, strength and stamina. The boys are undergoing 3 days training a week; they have the skills, to match the best but must build their stamina and staying power to the last. I am confident that CH and FC will provide the entertainment for all to enjoy. The hierarchy is giving that much needed support”. Jayasekera a youngster is a bundle of energy. He leads by example.

Jayasekera Explained “We have a mobile pack and a sleek back division. There are four players from Havelocks who have joined the CH scrum. Ravi Ganapathy, Nishantha Bopearachchi, (flankers), Saliya Kumara (full back) and centre Zakir. They have come on their own. Nevertheless they have to earn their places.

Finally explaining about meeting of expenses Jayasekera said “The players will be given pocket expenses. But at the end it’s the team’s success that matters. The backline is sleek. Centres Taranga Jayakody, Yuganthara Karunaratne (son of late legendry boxer ‘King’ Karu) Milinda Jayasinghe a seasoned player will man the base. Isipatanian Thalagalarachchi is outstanding forward either flanker or (No. 8). Still if we lose then its part and parcel of the game”.


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