Cathal Sheridan has expressed his delight in returning to sport after his appointment as Director of Rugby at UL Bohemians.
“I missed sport and being involved in it. It was a no-brainer when the opportunity came up”, he explained.
After spending time at Pep Talk, an employee engagement platform, Sheridan said he felt “an itch that needed scratching” despite previously envisioning a career away from the sport.
Sheridan will be joined at the club by a star-studded backroom staff – BJ Botha as forwards coach, Tommy O’Donnell as contact skills coach, George Murray who will continue as head coach and Olan Daly as senior skills coach.
“The quality and knowledge in the extras team is top class”, Sheridan said. He had praise for every one of his backroom staff members, ensuring that their knowledge of the game was not the only reason they were chosen to join the club.
For Sheridan, it is about the personalities of his staff and how they work with other people. The knowledge they harbour is important, but it is vital to the Irish rugby union player that his new colleagues maintain the community aspect of the club.
“Club rugby is an amateur game and the amateur ethos is really important so it’s more about the community and the environment that we are trying to build”, Sheridan stated.
The former Munster scrum half admitted his main focus at this moment in time is getting his team back out onto the pitch to “have a bit of craic” – he was keen to thank all the volunteers and safety officers who have made that a possibility.
“There’s an awful lot of work that has gone into getting us back out on the pitch. When you’re asked about a coaching ticket, these people’s names don’t go on it but the club doesn’t run without them. It’s the same for our committee, it’s the same for our chairman Martin O’Sullivan, it’s the same for our chairman of rugby Graham Byrnes. Our club does not run without these people”.
Sheridan admitted the sporting world is rife with confusion and uncertainty as it returns from a prolonged break. UL Bohs are no different to any other sporting organisation – nobody knows what is happening, and that is creating problems.
He spoke about what he called the “boring side” of the problems facing the club, the financial aspect. The club is unable to plan and prepare for the season ahead due to potential changes in the format of the league.
A more regional setup would minimise travel costs, but the undecided logistics to next season’s All-Ireland League has left Sheridan in an ambiguous place.
The lack of planning of the season ahead, which Sheridan points out is not to be blamed on anybody, also inhibits the club’s chances of organising friendlies and trips away ahead of the new season.
After pointing to the fact that these same problems face every sporting club in the country, Sheridan outlined his desire to “make sure we keep the game alive and make it accessible for fans and supporters”.