Hi Maurice, It’s great to get the opportunity to speak to you about your recent move to take up the Team Manager role with Northampton Saints.
How did the move to Northampton come about ?
I saw the post advertised on Twitter said I would chance handing in my CV. Got called for an interview and got the job. It came as a surprise really but it was something I was actively looking at.
What role’s did you fulfil with the clubs you were involved with here at home ?
I had been manager of Thomond RFC for 4 seasons as well as Ireland clubs for 3 seasons. I also managed Munster U18 for a season and was Manager of SCT in Castletroy for 2 years.
When did Northampton approach you about taking on the Manager role ?
As mentioned above they didn’t approach me, I put in my CV and got called for an interview, which I did in South Africa when I was on honeymoon. When I arrived back from South Africa, they flew me over to Franklin’s Gardens to meet the relevant people.
Do you work closely with the coaching team including head coach Chris Boyd ?
I would work very closely with Chris, more so than the coaching team. He is an unbelievably nice man and is very laid back and easy to get on with.
Can you explain your role on match day ?
Most of my work is done before matchday to be honest. I’ll come in maybe 3 hours before Kick Off, make sure the dressing room is correct and everything is in order. The players will start to arrive about 1pm and from then on it’s helping them in anyway I can. The main one is ensuring that their tickets are available for collect by their family members so they aren’t receiving calls taking their focus. Once the match starts I am in charge of the technical area and making substitutions and ensuring all rules are followed.
What sort of qualifications would a professional team like Northampton look for when recruiting a member of their staff ?
Like all businesses they would be looking for the most suitable person available. There is a young staff in place right across the club which is excellent.
How have your family settled in to your new surroundings ?
I have moved over on my own for the time being. My wife flies over for all the home games or close away games. It is a massive burden on her but I will try to get back to limerick when I can later on in the year.
During the week, what do your day’s look like ?
During the off-season it was crazy. You could be pulled left, right and centre with small issues but now that the season has started it is more structured. I try to get in for 7.30am and from there it depends on the daily schedule. I try to get on the field for training every day if possible.
What has the reaction been like here at home when people heard you were taking up the position of Northampton Saints Team Manager ?
Shock was the main reaction. But in fairness people have been unbelievably nice with congratulations etc. castletroy college were fantastic and allowed me take the opportunity by granting me a career break.
What do you hope to achieve in your time with Northampton ?
Enjoy it. I can’t control any results on the pitch but working in an environment like Pro Rugby is a privilege and I am learning new things every day.
Lastly Maurice, For anyone who may read this and think they may want to follow in your footsteps. Have you any advice ?
Be yourself. I have had this question a lot since people heard the news but if you are doing this job you are more than likely organised and outgoing anyway. The key is just be yourself and enjoy it.
Thank you for taking the time out to chat to me Maurice. All the very best for season 2019/2020….