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Ballincollig Build ‘Positive Atmosphere’ Ahead Of New Season

Ballincollig Build ‘Positive Atmosphere’ Ahead Of New Season

Ballincollig RFC’s J1 squad are currently preparing for the new season with newly-appointed head coach Willie Shubart and team manager Joerg Peetz leading from the front.

New Zealander Willie Shubart emigrated to Ireland in 1998 and has made Ballincolllig RFC his home club for the past 13 years. He captained the club in 2005 and claimed two Interprovincial titles with the Munster Juniors in 2001 and 2002.

Married to local girl Mary, Willie has extended his commitment to the Cork club by assuming the role of head coach for the 2013/14 season and he is confident his players will be well prepared for the upcoming campaign.

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Having narrowly missed out on promotion to Division 2 of the Munster Junior League last season, Shubart is eager to put that disappointment behind the squad and says the club’s focus is to retain playing numbers and continue to build on last year’s performances.

“I’m really looking forward to the season ahead and I am honoured to be given this opportunity. This year we have entered a second team (J3 League) to help bridge the gap from youth rugby into the adult game,” he said.

“This has helped in retaining some of our younger players and has also attracted some back to the club.

“We’ve already seen a great turnout to our pre-season sessions which has brought a positive atmosphere amongst the players and around the club. Our challenge is to keep the numbers training especially into the winter months.”

Supporting Shubart in the team manager role is German native Joerg Peetz. Joerg developed a keen interest in rugby in 2008 off the back of Munster’s Heineken Cup success and joined local club Balincollig RFC at the end of the following season.

He played with the club’s third team and progressed to the seconds in the 2011/12 season. Following his playing career, Joerg went on to become an assistant manager and coach with the first team and was named ‘Club Person of the Year’ for his contributions to the club.

This summer Joerg coordinated the successful IRFU Volkswagen Tag League at Ballincollig RFC which saw over 20 teams participating and believes it has encouraged men and women to take up rugby or indeed return to the game at adult level.

“Tag rugby is a great entry into the sport of rugby and a brilliant socialising event. I am an example of how you can progress from not knowing rugby at all to playing Tag rugby and then wanting to go on and play full contact rugby,” explained Joerg.

“We actually see more and more players going down that route which is a great way to grow the game.

“We are constantly looking to recruit players of all ages and welcome anybody who is looking to join up. Since I took up the sport I have never looked back and would encourage anybody to give it a go.”

Ballincollig RFC was founded in 1978, however it was not until 1993 when the club secured its own home grounds at Tanner Park and later officially opened their clubhouse on September 19, 1998.

The club has made huge strides since its formation and with a recent burst of growth in the town’s population, it now caters for over 200 players every Saturday in its mini section.

As well as two men’s senior teams competing in the Division 3 and (South) J3 leagues, Ballincollig also fields a women’s side competing in the Junior 2 division.

Related Links –

Ballincollig RFC

Munster Club Rugby