Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

Category: Notices (Page 1 of 3)

Call to Youth Academy Coaches, Managers and Volunteers

Joe Healy

Firstly, thank you all for your efforts over the past year. Whilst it has been a frustrating time for us all over these past months it has been heartening for everybody in the club to see the great work you are doing to develop our future Senior players.

Your role in ensuring that the young boys and girls in our care enjoy their rugby experience while improving and developing their skill sets is vital to our viability as a rugby club with the ambition to be competitive at the highest level.

It is, after all, only a few seasons since we gained promotion to Division 1 and there is no reason why the players currently in our Youth Academy shouldn’t be the young men to help bring us back there again in the coming seasons.   

We are in the process of finalising our plans for next season so for those of you who have an interest in coaching and/or management with a Youth Academy team for the coming season can you please respond to my recent email before the end of May with thanks to those who have already responded.

Please also get in touch if you haven’t already been involved with a team but would like to participate as a volunteer in any capacity.

Joe Healy, Director of Youth Academy ()

Seeking Women’s Head Coach

Who are we?

Galwegians Women’s Rugby is one of Connacht and Ireland’s most dominant and consistent Women’s teams. The Women’s Senior Squad competes in the All- Ireland League against the best teams in the country. The team also competes in the All-Ireland Cup and won the title in 2016, 2014 and 2012.

Recent seasons have seen Galwegians Women field a Second Team competing in Provincial competitions and allows players a stepping stone to All Ireland League standard.

Galwegian’s Women’s Rugby can boast within its ranks current and past Irish Internationals and are the back bone of Connacht’s Interprovincal Womens side. Connacht pro players Bundee Aki and George Naoupu have previously held coaching roles with the Women’s Team.

The Women’s section is a crucial component of Clubs social activities with a social calendar to rival our fixtures list during both the Winter and Summer months.

All of these components allow us to attract a good mix of committed athletes, rugby enthusiasts and novices to the game. We are looking for a vibrant, creative and ambitious Head Coach to bring their enthusiasm to this team

Who are we looking for?

  • Proven planning and organisational ability
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Understanding of a high performance environment
  • Minimum of three years coaching experience at a competitive grade.

Supported by the team manager, assistant coach, seconds team coach, team captain and director of women’s rugby, you will provide our women’s teams with the tools to achieve success in their individual competitions.

Your core duties will be:

• Plan the coaching program for pre-and-in- season training to support the development of player skills at all levels of experience and which will provide for challenging, active and effective coaching sessions for the entire player base;
• Execute the coaching program along with assistant coaches at training sessions;
• Evaluate match performances and training sessions with the coaching team and players and evolve the coaching program as necessary;
• Build and embed a process to identify and develop playing talent in both squads and regularly provide clear, honest feedback to individual players on how they can improve;
• Attend our Tuesday and Thursday coaching sessions and matches with the senior squad.

An IRFU Performance Coach Award (formerly Stage 4) or international equivalent is desirable but not essential (if you can demonstrate the capacity to progress and work towards this accreditation).

How can I apply?

If you are energetic and ambitious coach with a love of Rugby and are looking for a friendly squad with an ethos of success we want to hear from you.

Please contact our Director of Women’s Rugby, Ruth O’Reilly with your coaching
experience by email

Deadline for Expressions of Interst is Monday 8th of June.

Galwegians 2025 Panel Discussion on Jan 22nd

Galwegians are inviting our Boys and Girls youth players from U14 to U18.5 to an exciting panel discussion evening in the Connacht Hotel on Wednesday January 22nd at 8pm.

The panel will be made up of former players who have experienced success playing for Galwegians, and other clubs. Some have gone to success with provincial and Irish teams, and in other areas of life beyond rugby.

The discussion will center their playing experiences, their preparation and managing their emotions in those “Championship Minutes” in the cauldron of competitive rugby, and other life challenges.

As a background to this event, Galwegians Rugby Football Club are setting out an exciting new strategy called Galwegians 2025. The objective and vision for the strategy is to build a solid pathway for our youth team players to become core to our senior rugby teams in the coming years.

With the exciting development proposed at Oranswell in the planning stage, which will put playing infrastructure in place to meet our ambitions as a club, the Galwegians 2025 strategy will put the pathway and support mechanism in place to help players transition from youths rugby to our senior men’s and women’s teams.

The strategy, among other things, will leverage the unique “Rugby DNA” in the Galwegians club that has led to our success in the past. With a clear vision for the future of the club, this strategy will bring together some of the best coaching and playing standards to achieve this goal by 2025, and create a framework for the future.

Over the past three years under the guidance of Joe Healy, Director of Galwegians Youth Academy, some best practices around coaching and rugby standards have been put in place in our youth teams, including coaches who are current and former Galwegians senior players.

The objective of that plan was to coach the “Galwegians Way”, to instill a sense of belonging to the club and its ethos, and to build a work-ethic commensurate with our vision to help payers become better footballers and people. The recent success of our U20’s U18.5’s, U17 and U16 teams is testament to the success of that work.

The next phase of the evolution of the great work done in our Youth Academy is the Galwegians 2025 strategy. The key component of this strategy are our youth players. We want to share with them our vision and goals for the future, and put structures in place to help those players achieve the objective of playing senior rugby with Galwegians.

To kick this off, the panel discussion will provide valuable insights into playing, preparation and dealing with pressures of rugby at a higher level. Hosted by compere James Heaslip, Director of Rugby and himself a former member of successful Galwegians senior sides. The panel members are:

  • Ruth O’Reilly Galwegians Ladies captain, Connacht & Ireland
  • Mary Healy Galwegians, Connacht & Ireland
  • John Casserly Galwegians club Captain, currently coaching Galwegians U14s
  • Mervyn Murphy, Galwegians, Connacht, Ireland and Irish Rugby Performance Analyst.
  • Jack Clarke, Dolphin RFC, Munster and all levels for Ireland, International Javelin athlete, current Coach to Galwegians U16 Girls and U17s Boys
  • Andrew Browne, Galwegians, Connacht & Ireland, current Galwegians senior head coach
  • Damian Browne, Galwegians, Connacht, Ireland, Northampton, Brive, Leinster, Heineken Cup winner, Oyonnax, Adventurer, and current Galwegians U18.5 head coach

Andrew Browne Q&A

Q. Age you started playing rugby?

A. I started with Galwegians’ U8’s, but i didn’t keep it up and stopped playing at the end of the season. I only went back playing rugby when I was in 6thyear in the Bish.

Q. First Year in Wegians Seniors?

A. My first year with the Wegians Seniors was the 2005/06 season, where I played a couple of games towards the end of the season. 

Q. Connacht Career start & end?

A. Played my first game in a pre-season friendly at the start of the 2006/07 season. I finished with Connacht at the end of the 2017/18 season. 

Q. No. of caps?

A. 156

Q. Career Highlights?

A. Definitely winning the Pro12 in 2016! Everything else is a distant second. 

Q. Best Coach Ever Played Under?

A. I played under a number of excellent coaches during my time, including Michael Bradley, Eric Elwood, Dan McFarland and Pat Lam. However, I found Jimmy Duffy (Connacht Forwards Coach) to be the best. 

Q. Best Teammate?

A. Again, I’ve played with a huge amount of excellent players. For sheer presence, toughness and work ethic, it has to be John Muldoon. 

Q. Toughest opponent?

Leone Nakarawa

Q. Greatest Influence on Your Career?

A. My older brother Damian. Not just for my rugby career, but also for the high standards which he sets in general day to day life

Q. Coaching Career to Date …

A. Connacht: Position specific workshops with underage teams. U17 Academy (short term). Galwegians defence coach 2018/19. Galwegians Head coach 2019/20.

Q. Ambitions for Wegians Seniors this Year?

A. Ambitions are to consolidate our position for the year. Having had 4 bad years, it’s about stopping the slide. I think it’s important to be realistic about this. We also need to work with the other teams throughout the club to create a positive and encouraging environment, where people are excited to come in to. 

Q. Personal Career? 

A. Outside of rugby I’m going back to NUIG to do a Masters in Education. Having completed my degree in Economics and Geography a few years ago, I believe this is the right direction for me at this time. Teaching and coaching also compliment each other very well so it will only help develop each aspect. Long term I would like to see myself pursuing coaching at a higher level. Staying involved in the game with Wegians during my time in college will be hugely beneficial.

Update on Oranswell Development

Last Wednesday 24th July we had a very encouraging steady flow of people attending our Information Evening at Glenlo Abbey Hotel to see first-hand the detail in our planning application.

For those of you who were unable to attend last week, the drawings of our Site Plan and new Clubhouse layout are available to view in the “TV” Room at Crowley Park.

The Planning & Development Committee urge all members to take the time to view these plans, and particularly on a Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7pm to 8:15pm, where our senior players continue their pre-season training.

Please see a letter from the Planning & Development Committee and an overview site plan attached below.

New Oranswell facility Information Evening, Wed July 24th

Dear Members

We are at an advanced stage in our planning preparation for our proposed new facility at Oranswell in Galway.

On the 24th July, from 4pm to 7pm at Glenlo Abbey Hotel, we have arranged an Information Evening to give all members the opportunity to view our plans and engage with the professionals appointed to prepare our planning application.

Last evening, 9th July, we visited the residents, door to door, in Oranswell introducing ourselves and listening to any concerns they may have had with our proposed facility.

We used this opportunity to invite them, if they so wished, to also come along to our Information Evening in order to get a better understanding of this project. (see letter below).

The Galwegians Board of Directors would encourage as many of our members as possible to attend this event.

Kind Regards,
Niall Beatty
Director of Development

Galwegians announce Andrew Browne as Head Coach for 2019/20

Galwegians RFC have just announced the appointment of former Connacht Player Andrew Browne as their new head coach for upcoming 2019/20 season.

Andrew comes with huge experience from his time with Connacht and is being joined by current Connacht player Tiernan O’Halloran, who will take on the role as assistant coach.

Current Strength & Conditioning coach Jarlath Naughton will complete the coaching ticket.

The city based club have gone through a turbulent few years, but are excited at the appointment of the new coaching team and, according to Club President Michael Tarpey, are looking forward to what the future holds “We are delighted to have Andrew on board as our coach, particularly as he was a former player here and has strong family connections with the club. The addition of Tiernan O’Halloran is also a massive coup for us and we really feel that this can be the beginning of a successful period in our club”.

Andrew Browne said, “I am really excited to be taking up this new role as head coach with Galwegians RFC and am relishing the Challenge that the position brings. Galwegians has a proud history and Im looking forward to being part of its future and developing as a coach myself. Joining me will be current Connacht player Tiernan O’Halloran and former Galwegian stalwart Jarlath Naughton, both of whom bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, along with a desire to succeed and bring the club on to the next level.”

Galwegians RFC can also confirm that outgoing Senior Coach Brian McClearn will be taking over the helm with their U20s next season. Sincere thanks to Brian for all his efforts over a very difficult three years and the club is delighted to see him remaining involved in the club. 

Special General Meeting Wednesday October 24th 8pm

Special General Meeting: Wed Oct 24th 8pm

A reminder that the Special General Meeting will take place this Wed Oct 24th in the Clubhouse, Crowley Park, at 8pm, see motion below.

All club members are strongly encouraged to attend this hugely important event.

Motion To Be Proposed At Special General Meeting

“We, the Members of Galwegians Rugby Football Club, authorise the Trustees, the Board of Directors, and Committee of the Club to complete the sale of Crowley Park for €9.25 Million and, as soon as practicable thereafter, enter into a contract to purchase, subject to obtaining appropriate planning permission for new playing and all ancillary facilities, lands approved by the Board of Directors at Oranswell, Bushypark, Co Galway for the Club’s use into the future.”

Video Of Proposed Option G3 Oranswell, Bushypark

There was an excellent turn-out for our Information Night on Monday Oct 15th.

Members were given presentations by Niall Beatty of the Development Sub-Committee and Chris McGrath of Tiger Property, who was engaged by Mr. Neil Armstrong in recent months to source potential new sites for the club.

A robust Q&A session followed during which Gus McCarthy from MKOS consultants and John Kelly from PJ Tobins Engineers answered various queries.

A short video of the proposed option at Oranswell, Bushypark is available on Vimeo.

Chairman Frank Kinneen in profile


Club Involvement

My grandfather was the first ever captain of Galwegians in 1922 and was captain for five years, which I think was the longest serving captain of the club.

I played under 18’s with Wegians in 1977. I then left to work in Dublin before returning to the club until around 1984.

Before being elected Chairman at this year’s AGM, I had previously served as Club Chairman from 1996 to 1999 when professional rugby evolved.

Playing Highlights

We won the Connacht Senior league in 84/85 season and won the Connacht Senior Cup in 1986 beating Athlone (before Buccaneers!). Played with the thirds and seconds before and after 88/89.

I was Club Captain in 88/89 following a family tradition, and we were pipped in the ’89 Senior Cup Final by UCG. We also lost narrowly in the Junior Cup final in 1992 to Monivea.

Best Players Played With

I was lucky to have played with a lot of great players including Paud Finn, Billy Quinn, Joe Healy, Eric Elwood and our current Pres Mike Tarpey.

Best Opponents

Athlone players such as the Henshaw brothers Dave & Tony ( father of you know who!) and Tommy Conlon were all difficult players.

Career outside Galwegians

After a career in retail and wholesale, I remain very involved in the wine trade as an importer and distributer.

Aspirations for the Club

We have a big two months ahead of us. The future of the club is now at a very interesting crossroads. We need to move and clear our debt and thankfully there is a great financial offer for Glenina at this time. This will afford us the opportunity to move to new grounds and offer state of the art facilities to future generations of Galwegians.

I cannot stress the how important this is. We need to move and move very soon, otherwise we will not have a club in five years’ time.

Changes to Membership Procedures

Galwegians RFC membership procedures have been updated to reflect GDPR regulations, and from member inputs at the club AGM last May.

For the coming season, all memberships will now have to be paid online. A link to the membership tariffs is available on the Membership section on our website. This page also contains a link to the payment system.

All new adult members (not previously members of Galwegians RFC) requesting admission to join the club after August 1st 2018 will have their request considered by the Board of Management, and will be subject to ratification by the Board at the next available Board meeting. Once their application is approved, the new member will obtain full membership, and voting rights at any club EGM or AGM.

The Board of Management will also begin to enforce a clause from the club constitution to close membership to any new members for a fixed period prior to any EGM or AGM.

All new and existing members are requested by the Board of Management to review the Galwegians RFC Code of Conduct.

Life Members are again being asked by the Board of Management to consider paying the equivalent of an ordinary sub to help the club deal with our current financial plight.

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