Galwegians have confirmed the appointment of Jarleth Naughton as Head Coach of the Men’s Senior Team. It follows the recent departure of Andrew Browne to the Connacht Academy. A Galway city native, we caught up with ‘Ja’ to ask him about his career to date.

1. When did you join and start playing for Wegians?

I started with Wegians when I was thirteen with the U14s under Noel ‘Tully’ Murtagh and Stephanie Dowling Folan

2. What Position did you play?

Front-row, Loose head prop. I tried hooker in my first year of senior rugby for a couple of games, but almost all my career has been wearing the no. 1 jersey.

3. Which years were you club captain?

I was made captain for the 2014/15 season, a memorable year when we gained promotion to AIL Division 1A, and held the role until I finished playing rugby in 2016.

4. When did you start coaching and which team?

I started coaching in the Connacht Summer Camps and with GMIT for a season and I also did a season with NUIG u20s while I was still playing.

After I finished playing, I was made head coach of the NUIG J1 team for 2 seasons and I was also head coach of the Connacht Women for 2 season during this time. 

I then returned to Wegians and have been part of the coaching team here for 3 seasons now. 

5. Your reaction to being appointed Senior Men’s Head Coach?

It’s a great honour being asked to take the reins, and it’s even more special leading in to our 100th year anniversary.

6. What are your hopes & aspirations?

I am excited to continue building on the work that we put in place the last two years. 

I’m looking forward to developing this group of players over the next season. I have seen some great potential in these young players coming through and we have some experienced players to help guide them too. I’m also delighted to have Morgan Codyre and Anto Ryan on board with me this year. They are both eager to get started and will bring some new fresh ideas to the group. 

7. Is internal progression important in the club?

Absolutely, it’s great to see some ex-players coming back to help guide the groups under the senior men’s team from Packie, Clarkie, Hackett with the U20s, Barry Gavin with the U18s, Spencer with the U17s, and John Cass with the U16s. I like to think the future is safe with people who are passionate about the club and care about the players. 

8. Your Proudest Achievement in Wegians?

On the pitch, it would have to be beating Garryowen to win promotion to Division 1A, due to the buzz around the place and what was on the line that day. But if I’m being honest, I would say doing up the gym to what it is now because it benefits everyone. It wasn’t just me but it was a proud moment.

9. Final thoughts?

I just wanted to wish Brownie all the best in his new role. We worked really well together over the 2 seasons, and I know that he will do really well in his new role with Connacht. 

And a final word from our President Erc Dunne:

“I’m delighted for Ja and Galwegians. I have watched his progression through our club from player to coach and as we move towards our Centenary. It’s easy to see why he is where he is now. Ja has grown with the club, he works hard to develop his skills and of those around him, he understands who we are and where we want to be. I want to wish him and the rest of our coaching team every success for the season ahead.  I also want to thank our good friend Andrew Browne for his hard work over the last two seasons and wish him every success in his new role with Connacht”.