Tirana Rugby Club
In 2011, there were only few guys who decided to promote rugby as another sport in Albania. The first match was on 4 August 2013, with the participation of some of Tirana Rugby Club players and some immigrants from Italy. The promotional event was held at Selman Stërmasi Stadium.
In August 2013 Tirana RC was officially founded from some guys who simply had the desire to offer something more than the existing sports in the country. It was created for something different, more adrenaline, more contact. The beginnings and creation of a compact squad was not easy due to absence of popularity of this sport, which made the approach and recruitment very difficult. Xhino Drangu and Adam Vernon were two guys who worked hard to establish the first steps of the game which then made the recruitment easier. More new players joined the club. Drangu has had 5 years experience in the United Kingdom. He became the first coach in 2013. He helped players start understanding and play genuine rugby.
As years went on, squad became more solid and was able to play friendlies. The first one was played against Kosovo Roosters RC in 2013. In 2014, Adam Vernon became the second coach of the team. He is of English origin and has played rugby in high levels, semi or full professional. The second friendly was again played against Kosovo Roosters RC in Tirana. In beginning of 2015, club submitted the necessary application in court, in order to become officially recognized. Registration was made possible and club got the status of a non-profit organization. Same year, along with rugby, club took part at the first cricket game in Albania. This was mediated from members of the British Embassy in Albania and of Crown Agents.
In 2015, club took part in a tournament organized in Pristina with the participation of 3 clubs: Tirana RC (Albania), Kosovo Roosters RC (Kosovo) and Kibubu RC (Belgium). Tirana RC ranked third in the end of the event. Same year two more friendlies were played against RK Podgorica (Montenegro), a very experienced team with many players part of Montenegro National Team. First match was played in Albania and second one in Montenegro and despite the heavy defeats, served as necessary tests and experience for Tirana’s young players. As Tirana RC was gaining more experience and connections with other clubs, the plan of a Nationwide Cup was soon materialized. It was named “Skenderbe Cup” and there were only two participants; Tirana RC and Kosovo Roosters RC. It consisted of three matches within a year and the winner of two matches would be the victor. Other Albanian and Kosovo clubs were free to join the event. First match was played in 28 November 2015 and was won by Tirana RC with a score 24-10. Second match is due to be played in Pristina.
In 2016, Tiana RC created the a second club KR Iliret. On 9 April Tirana RC played against a friendly against RK Mornar in Tirana where the 1st part was 17-17 and 2nd 27-36. History was written on 16 May when for the first time with the help of OSCE the 2 first clubs of Albania had their first match. The team Tirana RC vs KR Iliret in Elbasan showed a gladiator game against each other. In the end KR Iliret won against Tirana RC with a score of 0-12. On 19 June Tirana RC was again a part of the second Cricket Game in Albania. On 2 October a friendly against KR Iliret was held and it finished with the winning of Tirana RC.
With Tirana RC growing with new members and gaining more experience, club is planning to arrange friendlies with stronger rivals. The main goal of Tirana RC is development of rugby as a new sport in Albania and, as the first and only rugby squad has the obligation to disseminate it further. The other goal is assisting and cooperating on the creation of other rugby teams in the country.
An important step in the establishment of relations with international clubs is twinning with two Italian clubs, Aquila and Gran Sasso. Club is attempting on organizing events and matches in the future.
Ogulcan Yigit Satiroglu
|Secretary / Accountant||
|Director of Albania Rugby||