Longford CCRO Dylan Quinn still has to pinch himself sometimes. Here he is, coaching the game he loves for a living and seeing the rewards that come with hard work.

Now in his second year in the role, he is making waves continuously. A staunch Longford RFC man, he has a deep lying love for them that connects him even more to the North Midlands club.

He has played with Longford RFC all his life while also playing at a higher level with Buccaneers and Bective Rangers on dual status in the past, also featuring as an ever-present on the Leinster Junior team over the last five years.

Quinn’s role as CCRO in the club is centred on schools and getting the game of rugby into the minds of children.

He takes in the entire county of Longford. Schools are given six-week blocks at scheduled times throughout the school year as he has a lot of both primary and secondary schools to get around to.

Two years ago his life changed when he was appointed as the club’s CCRO.

“It’s a dream come true, to get paid for something you love, I am still waking up every morning thinking, ‘wow’,” he says.

“I have played all my life with Longford while dipping in and out with other clubs on dual status.

“Before this I was working in a factory doing 12-hour shifts and it was hard to commit to training and rugby in general.

“I heard that there was a role coming up and I put the head down, applied for it and got it,” explains Quinn.

While it is a big plus to love your job, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have to put in the work. A lot of hours are put in on the ground in a bid to keep the next generation of players in Longford in tune with the game and getting them through the doors of the club.

“It keeps me really busy during the week. You are constantly doing something and it is something I love so you don’t really class it as work.”

One of the success stories in his tenure to date has been Moyne Secondary. Having been beaten in the final last year, they won the Junior development shield this season while the Seniors also made the final and were narrowly beaten in the final.

When Quinn came through the doors in Moyne last year, they had about 10 Junior players but now that has rose to over 60 between first and third year lining out for the school.

With so much time and effort going into the schools, the club was bound to see the results and there is no better example than the club’s Under-13 side.

While Quinn brings a lot to rugby in Longford, the club also gives a lot back to him. The support structure in the club has been massive for him with club coaches typically helping him out in schools when the need arises.

“I have fantastic support from the coaches in the club. I do get asked to help out in the club as well and then I can ask others to come and help in the schools. The lads would put their neck out for you and help in any way possible.”

There is trojan work going on but there can always be more done and he has hopes to broaden his work load next season and introduce new schools to competitive action.

Longford have stood up to the plate to be the envy of not only most Junior clubs but even others at Senior level with the standard of their facilities.

Three seasons ago, the club opened the Hugh Connolly youth centre, a dedicated space for hosting minis and youths players after matches in memory of Connolly who passed away in 2014.

All these recent investments are on top of existing facilities like covered stands, an electronic scoreboard, a state-of-the-art clubhouse, a strength and conditioning centre opened in the memory of former club captain Derek Belton, five men’s dressing rooms, a physio treatment room, and separate referees’ and women’s changing rooms.

This article first appeared in the Official Matchday Programme for Leinster Rugby’s Heineken Champions Cup Pool game against Lyon OU on Sunday, 12 January.