THE knowledge that Rodney Parade is still home for Newport RFC and the Dragons makes everyone a lot happier, but the events of this week should serve as motivation for us.

I headed down to the ground before the shareholders’ meeting and I must admit I was concerned despite insisting I was optimistic.

It was tense and there was the fear that the future of rugby at Rodney Parade was in jeopardy.

I knew that the Dragons would exist in some shape or form but where that would be was uncertain, so I was so pleased that the Newport shareholders have protected an historic ground with a yes vote for a deal with the Welsh Rugby Union.

I thank them for that and I look forward to watching Newport and the Dragons play there in the future.

It feels good that we can move forward with Rodney Parade still our home and that will make for a more enjoyable summer for us players.

Caerphilly did an admirable job for our final game of the season against Cardiff Blues last weekend but there is no place quite like home.

Hopefully this will be a spark for better times ahead but I want this to be a harsh realisation that things have not been hunky-dory at Rodney Parade.

This should be motivation and incentive to get fired up again like the days I remember from my youth when the ‘cabbage patch’ was bustling before games.

The WRU are there to help us as a team and as an organisation but we have to make things work, not just rely on them to lead the way.

This can give us a new lease of life and should put pressure on us to achieve much better things.

There can be no excuses now. I know the Union aren’t going to fling loads of money at us but they will provide us with a bit more stability and off-field support.

We have some quality as a team and I will be very disappointed if this time next year I am not able to reflect on a positive season rather than the troubles we’ve had over the past 18 months or so.

As a squad we have our end-of-season awards dinner at Rodney Parade tomorrow and we had our reviews at our training base.

There was a lot of honest talk after a disappointing campaign, both from players and management, and you need that if you are to move on and improve.

It’s not easy being told certain criticisms but, as I’ve learned from my career, it’s the only way that you can progress as a player.

It means that we can come back afresh next season. We aren’t happy with how this season panned out but the takeover deal does give us some hope and the drive to ensure that next year is much better.