Buccaneers and Ireland U-20 outhalf JACK CARTY was the June winner in the ‘Westmeath Independent/Hodson Bay Hotel Sports Awards’. The annual awards ceremony takes place on February 8th when voting by the public will decide the overall Reader’s Choice winner from the dozen monthly winners. Buccaneers supporters are asked to vote for Jack by texting INDO 6 to 57199. Voting lines are now open until February 7th. Each text costs €1.
TONY DOLAN APPOINTED SENIOR COACH
TONY DOLAN has been appointed Senior Coach at Buccaneers RFC and takes immediate charge of team affairs. He was an interested observer in Ballymena last Saturday and “is looking forward to the challenge”.
Tony is a highly respected coach, both at the club and throughout Connacht. He was joint manager with Jude Lennon when Buccs made an immediate successful promotion campaign four seasons ago. He has coached various Connacht underage squads with some success too as well as being a guiding light behind Marist College’s Connacht Senior Schools double last season.
Dolan, whose son Mark plays at scrumhalf for Buccaneers Senior XV, is a regular attendee at most Buccs matches so he is well familiar with their personnel, game style and potential. Some of the more experienced players such as Garrett Halligan, Alex Hayman, James Tormey and Kolo Kiripati have previously played under the coach while most of the younger players in the senior panel have also been coached either on the club or Connacht teams by Tony. He believes there “is tremendous potential and decent skills levels” in the current squad and he expects that with hard work Buccs to be “highly competitive” in their division.
Due to prior work commitments in Germany, Tony will be unavailable for Buccaneers game at home to Bruff on Friday night when assistant Martin Cahill will hold the reins. Some ‘nuts and bolts’ of Tony’s tenure have still to be ironed out at time of writing but it is hoped that his appointment will extend beyond the current season.
JACK CARTY became the fifth Buccaneers player to be capped by Ireland U-20s this year when he came on as a replacement in their narrow 20-15 Junior World Cup pool defeat to England. He then started at outhalf for Ireland’s game against Italy in which teammate CONOR FINN also played on the wing. Despite Ireland enjoying a comprehensive victory, a late bonus try by South Africa in their win over England meant that the Springboks topped this pool to progress to the semi-finals. However, CARTY and FINN both came off the bench in Ireland’s magnificent 27-12 play-off victory over the ‘old enemy’, which was doubly gratifying for all the players and mentors as England had been the only team to overcome Ireland at U-20 this year. Ireland now take on France in the fifth/six place play-off and we wish the boys in green best of luck. Whatever the outcome of this final match, Ireland will have achieved their highest ever position in the Junior World Cup.