Friday 20 October 2017

Holland to join Con's coaching team

Johnny Holland has joined Cork Con’s coaching team ahead of their Ulster Bank League title defence. Photo: Sportsfile
Johnny Holland has joined Cork Con’s coaching team ahead of their Ulster Bank League title defence. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Former Munster out-half Johnny Holland has joined Cork Con's coaching team ahead of their Ulster Bank League title defence.

Holland, who had his career cut cruelly short last year at just 25, will work with Con's backs as they look to win successive titles.

The Cork native previously played with Con and had just broken into the Munster team before a serious hamstring injury forced him into early retirement.

Holland replaces the departing Paul Barr and will work under the vastly-experienced Brian Hickey.

"Johnny is a great guy and already I can see that he is very insightful, hopefully we'll pick up a lot from him," Con captain Niall Kenneally said.

Con are bidding to somehow build on a remarkable last season in which they won all four competitions - the Charity Cup, Munster Senior Cup, Bateman Cup and the AIL - that they entered.

They begin their title defence next Saturday (September 16) at home to Clontarf in a repeat of last year's thrilling final and Kenneally admitted that on the back of their remarkable season more of their players were likely to be involved at a higher level this year.

"I don't think we will be weakened but the other side is that some guys are pushing on with Munster," the powerful centre maintained.

"Sometimes you are victims of your own success because you see less and less of these guys as they do well. Part of you is happy that they are doing well but the selfish part of you wants them to play for you.

"I have been saying it for years that the standard in this league is hugely underrated. It's basically a semi-professional league without the money. That's the standard."

Elsewhere in the top flight, James Downey will be involved with Clontarf this season, while Mike McCarthy will coach the forwards at newly-promoted Buccaneers.

Irish Independent

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