Newly appointed DCU Rugby Development Officer, Aidan Kearney, vows to “right the wrongs” of previous seasons in an effort to bring some silverware back to DCU.
Kearney, expressed his desire to build on his predecessor’s ground work and bring rugby success back to DCU.
“Well I think with rugby this year we’re looking to continue the work that has gone on and hopefully improve it”, said Kearney.
Kearney spoke with both the men’s and the women’s rugby clubs within DCU and said that “they are keen to right the wrongs of last year.”
Experience of being a professional rugby player for Ulster and Leinster will be prove useful for Kearney when tasked with correcting past faults for the coming season.
“At the moment, we have kept a lot of the players we have from last year and it’s just looking to right the wrongs, whether that’s coming from off the pitch, on the pitch, coaching or the players themselves”, said Kearney.
The fresh faced Rugby Development Officer will focus on why they have yet to win a league, a cup or a 7s tournament and remedying it.
A common problem for DCU is talented players not playing for Force which is the men’s varsity rugby club.
Kearney, who has coached at Trinity College and Suttonians, recognised this as a problem but insisted that the interest needs to first come from the student before his department can draw this calibre of player to play.
“I suppose first the interest has to come from the player. If players are coming through the college and are interested in playing we can facilitate them.
“If they are on scholarship we can firstly player manage make sure the player plays at least 50 per cent of league games so that they can play in the cup. Part of the scholarship is to contribute to your club”, added Kearney.
One of Kearney’s first act as RDO was putting together a team of coaches as he hopes the inclusion of some familiar faces on this coaching panel will spur on a greater interest in the DCU Force and entice some of the internationals and interprovincial players to play for the college.
“I’m hoping that with the coaches I’m going to bring in, former professional players, that hopefully it will attract those interpros, those international guys to partake in what we’re trying to achieve here in DCU”, said Kearney in relation to this tactic.
As well as excelling in sport, the new RDO emphasised the importance of his players, especially those who may be travelling to tournaments at a national or international level, achieving success in academia.
“We have the service here to sit down with the player with the student and workout his or her needs. If It’s academic, putting in the structure, you know I wouldn’t say I’m going to babysit them, but he or she needs to have the want to get up out of bed and go to college.
“We can liaise with the player. If the player is an interpro with that demand we just have to make sure that his or her academics don’t slip because their away, by giving them programmes”, Kearney assured.
Aside from his duties as the RDO Kearney is excited for the coming season and is “most looking forward to working with young people who want to play the game that I have played and coached in now for a long time. Guys that was to improve their skills both on the pitch and off.”
Micheál Ó Scanaill
Image Credit: Damien Eagers/Sportsfile