THE president of Hillfoots RFC has hailed the club’s phenomenal achievements this season as he paid tribute to the impact the club is having in local community.

With the club having one of the most jaw-dropping backdrops in the shape of the Ochils, they have managed to get the whole area excited about rugby with the local parks constantly filled with rugby-playing youngsters.

Paddy Sherrard, club president, highlighted their success this season and said: “Our 1st XV have had an outstanding season winning the BT Caledonia Midlands Division 2 title scoring 1086 points and only conceding 134.

“It has been a real senior squad effort, with the majority of talent being home grown through our vibrant junior section and our support from the local community has really encouraged us to deliver both on and off the pitch.”

Hillfoots were officially presented with their trophy by a representative from the SRU (Scottish Rugby Union) earlier this month and the club took it as an opportunity to host a fun day, complete with a kicking competition.

Like many small outfits, training during the cold dark winter is a challenge, but the club has managed to maintain good numbers at their training despite the awful winter and this has been critical to their success according to head coach Ian Hamilton.

He added: “We are a young side that has focused on our fitness and superior skills to challenge more physically imposing sides and our hard efforts throughout our pre-season and during the winter have really paid off.”

The successes are not only with the senior squad, their junior rugby set up was the first to gain Positive Coaching Scotland accreditation which has now permeated through the club.

This has now resulted in the fantastic sight of the park being filled with kids from the age of four having fun and learning the skills for the future.

In the autumn, Hillfoots welcomed home their most recent Scottish International Jamie Bhatti who has been propelled onto the Glasgow Warriors and Scotland squads.

Nick Quinn, head of junior rugby, said: “Hillfoots were honoured that Jamie presented the shirt he wore against Australia to the club."

He continued: “Having started out as one of our minis, his talk to our current crop of kids was truly inspirational – hopefully there will be many more who will follow his footsteps.”