Former Connacht lock Andrew Browne, who bowed out with the province after an injury-disrupted 2017/18 season, has been announced as the new Galwegians head coach as they look to bounce back from relegation.
‘Wegians had a luckless run in All-Ireland League Division 2A, winning just one of their 18 matches as they finished bottom of the table. It was their third relegation in four seasons having competed in the top flight in 2015/16.
Galway native Browne will take the reins from outgoing senior coach Brian McClearn who will coach the club’s Under-20s next season. Tiernan O’Halloran will support his former Connacht team-mate as assistant coach, current strength & conditioning coach Ja Naughton completing the new ‘Wegians coaching ticket.
Speaking about the appointments at Crowley Park, Galwegians RFC President Michael Tarpey said: “We are delighted to have Andrew on board as our coach, particularly as he was a former player here and has strong family connections with the club. The addition of Tiernan is also a massive coup for us and we really feel that this can be the beginning of a successful period in our club.”
There will be some mouth-watering Connacht derbies in Division 2B next season with city rivals Galwegians and Corinthians clashing and Browne pitting his coaching wits against another of former provincial colleagues, JP Cooney. Ballina are coming up as Division 2C champions, while Sligo could also be in the mix depending on how they fare in the play-offs.
The 31-year-old Browne commented:
“I am really excited to be taking up this new role as Galwegians head coach and am relishing the challenge that the position brings. Galwegians has a proud history and I’m looking forward to being part of its future and developing as a coach myself.
“Joining me will be Tiernan O’Halloran, a current Connacht star, and Galwegians stalwart Jarleth Naughton, both of whom bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, along with a desire to succeed and bring the club on to the next level.”