Galway Corinthians have confirmed that Men’s Head Coach JP Cooney will be stepping down from his position with their Energia All-Ireland League team at the end of the 2021/22 season. The Tipperary native took over as coach in 2018 following his retirement as a player with Connacht with whom he won a Pro12 title in 2016.
JP replaced Ene Fa’atau as Head Coach at Corinthian Park and has overseen a period of transition at the club who currently are very much in contention for promotion from the Men’s Division 2B of the Energia AIL.
In a statement released this morning, the Corinthians Coach said “Regrettably, I am going to step away from Corinthians RFC at the end of the season. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly or one that was made overnight, but I have other priorities in my life that would require me to give less than a hundred per cent to Corinthians – the lads deserve better than that.”
While the decision may be seen as a surprise to some, it was one that was made and communicated to the players before Christmas and for Cooney and the players their focus has now moved on to the remaining games in the season.
“To be honest, it’s no big thing for me at the moment, I am more concentrating on the time we have left, where we are in the league and what this special group of players can do before the season finishes. That’s where the focus is for now.”
Corinthians currently lie joint second in Division 2B of the Energia AIL and are involved in a real battle with six games remaining. With Greystones clear at the top just six points separating Corinthians from Sligo who are in sixth and with the format for promotion being top four qualifying for Semi-Finals with the overall winner promoted, the stakes are indeed high.
Kieran Faherty, President of Galway Corinthians RFC paid tribute to the outgoing head coach saying “It is with considerable regret that we in Corinthians have come to accept the decision of JP to step down from his role as Head Coach at the end of the season. JP has been a very influential and popular coach over the past four years and his hard work and that of the team has taken us to a better place.
“JP’s ability as a hard taskmaster combined with his skills of gentle persuasion has him excel in man management and as a result, the team, have provided an entertaining and successful formula that has us lying second in what is a very competitive league.
“He has many great attributes that helped build a unique bond between the coaching team and the players. But his greatest attribute is simply that he is a great guy. We wish JP and his family all the very best for the future and we thank him for the memories. He will always be welcome and remembered fondly here in Corinthians.” He concluded.
The Club are now beginning the process of finding a new Director of Rugby/Head Coach who will have overall responsibility for senior rugby in the club and will coach our men’s 1st and 2nd teams.
Full details and job description for the vacancy can be found by clicking here.