Recently-crowned AIB League Division One champions Shannon have moved to replace outgoing head coach Geoff Moylan after the club’s Executive Committee did not extend his year-long contract.
After a review of the season where all parties were consulted, the decision not to reappoint Geoff Moylan was a very difficult one according to Shannon RFC Chairman Jack Keane.
“Geoff Moylan is a coach with three AIB League Division One titles to his credit, and taking that phenomenal record into account, the executive did not make this decision lightly,” said Keane.
“We sincerely thank Geoff for his enormous contribution to ensure our club’s continued All Ireland success, and we wish him well for whatever path his coaching career takes.”
Shannon have once again utilised a tried and tested policy of recruiting coaches from within the club, a policy that has proved enormously successful over a long number of years.
Colm Tucker, at just 27 years of age, is set to become the AIB League’s youngest head coach, after his appointment was ratified by Shannon’s Executive Committee on Wednesday evening.
In announcing the appointment, Shannon President Martin Clancy said: “The club have full confidence in Colm’s ability as head coach of Shannon, despite his relative youth.
“He has played to a very high level and has shown exceptional coaching ability over the last number of years.
“He has worked very hard, and last season was instrumental in our ninth AIB League Division One title win. We wish him and his coaching team the very best of luck.”
Tucker has been involved with Shannon from a very young age and was an exceptional hooker in his playing days. He went to St. Munchin’s College and captained the Irish Schools side during the 2000/01 side and then went onto play with the Ireland Under-19s a year later.
His very promising rugby career was unfortunately blighted with injury and despite several major setbacks he did win two AIB League medals with Shannon until eventually, under medical advice, he was forced to retire from playing four years ago.
His involvement in coaching began over eight years ago where he took up the reigns as the club’s Under-16 coach and he has since progressed through the IRFU coaching system.
He co-coached Shannon’s Under-20 side for two seasons before being brought up to the senior ranks last year as forwards coach in Moylan’s management set-up.
A graduate of the University of Limerick, Tucker now works with the Bank of Scotland as a lending executive.
He was brought up with the Shannon ethos and had it not been for his recurring injuries he would surely have emulated his father, Colm snr., in representing Munster and Ireland and even perhaps the Lions.
Commenting on his appointment, Tucker said he was ‘delighted and honoured’ to be selected as Shannon’s new head coach.
“This is a fantastic honour for me and I am confident I can repay the club’s faith in me,” he said.
“To be head coach of a club such as Shannon at a young age is a somewhat daunting task, but I have no doubt in my own ability and those around me.
“I am grateful to Geoff for giving me the opportunity to work in last season’s successful management side and look forward to building on that success in the coming season.
“We have a great squad of players with a superb work ethic and I know that they are already looking forward to defending the AIB League title.”
Chairman Jack Keane reiterated the sentiments of the club and expressed his support for Tucker.
“It’s a big role in a big club and we are in no doubt that Colm is the right man to lead Shannon forward into the new AIB League format,” insisted Keane.
Tucker will be joined in the coaching team by his long-time colleague Ger Casey who will have responsibility for the backs as well as video analysis.
The newly-installed head coach stressed the importance of Casey’s role, adding: “Ger and I have worked together for quite a number of years and the commitment he brings to his roles is phenomenal and his abilities will be of enormous benefit to me and the players.”
The Shannon senior players are set to resume collective training in in the middle of this month.