A new era beckons for rugby in Fingal as Skerries Rugby Club prepares for the coming season and the launch of their new international class pitches and floodlighting…

This year’s squads will be led by the experienced duo of Skerries men John Murphy and Chris Keane.

Director of Rugby and First Team Coach John Murphy brings with him the knowledge of 25 years experience working at the highest level with the I.R.F.U. in the areas of player development, coach education and leading the national schoolboy’s team.

Chris Keane, in his role of backs coach and player, has come back to Skerries from Leinster Rugby bearing a Heineken Cup winners medal and Magners League medal. Prior to his three years with Leinster, Chris spent six highly successful years with Connacht. Chris last played in a Skerries shirt in 1999.

Both men are steeped in the tradition of Skerries Rugby Club and the names Murphy and Keane have graced many a team-sheet in Holmpatrick over the years.

John and Chris are keen to build on the progress made in the last season with the emphasis on the development of player skills and set-piece improvement. Skerries will be looking to play a high-tempo style of rugby that will be enjoyable for players and supporters alike coupled with the hard work that will be required to achieve results in the competitive surroundings of Leinster Division 1A. With this in mind, the overall goals for the season will be performance based, with the forwards and backs working together to compliment each others strengths.

Both John and Chris firmly believe that match results and league standings will follow from the team and individual player’s improvement, based on these performance goals. With the new season nearly upon us, John and Chris will have the players ready to hit the ground running for the first home game against Cill Dara on September 18th.

One of the many strength of Skerries Rugby Club throughout the years has been its nurturing of talent and the current crop of young players is no exception, with the future looking very bright indeed. John Murphy, in his role as Director of Rugby, is very keen to create a pathway for the advancement of players from Mini’s all the way through to the Senior squad. In tandem with developing player skills, John will work with the coaches of all level to improve their own skill-sets so that they can then, in turn, challenge the players in their charge.

Chris will also work closely with all levels of coaching to impart his knowledge of goal-setting and position-specific skills. Chris sees this role as highly motivating for the younger players as his ambition as an under-age player was fired by the first-team players of the day and fed his desire to some day wear the Skerries 1st team jersey.

The overall Senior squad will work together, with John and Chris taking responsibility for the first team. The second team coaches will be Michael Connolly, Ed Caraher, Michael O’Keefe, Jeffery Duff and John Boland. This year sees the introduction of an Under-21 squad under the tutelage of Shay McGuinness, Willie Dawson, Eugene Carron and Gareth Earley. The competition for places in the starting 15 of the Senior team will be from the overall pool of these three teams and both John and Chris will be looking for each player to put himself in the frame for selection when the season kicks off.

Each new season brings its own challenges and possibilities and the coming season for Skerries Rugby Club will be no different. However, with the experience, commitment and local knowledge of John Murphy and Chris Keane, Skerries Rugby club is now ready to face those challenges and deliver on the possibilities.