Dr. Paul McCarthy and Academy Manager Peter Malone present James Cronin with the John McCarthy award for Academy Player of the Year
Dr. Paul McCarthy and Academy Manager Peter Malone present James Cronin with the John McCarthy award for Academy Player of the Year
Academy Update
5 May 2013, 5:57 pm
By The Editor
As the season draws to an end we talk to Academy Manager Peter Malone as he reviews the Academy's year.
"It was a very positive year for the academy, we've had a big change and there's turnover this year again with guys leaving. We've got five guys moving on to Munster development contracts (Bohane, Casey, Cronin, O'Mahony, Scannell) and one player, James Rael, moving on to a Connacht contract which is a great achievement as well and I think he'll do very well there."

"Other guys are talking to clubs abroad also and Corey Hircock has confirmed his departure to Bedford Blues, so I think it's been a productive year overall but I wouldn't want us to rest on our laurels, and I think we need to keep pushing on the quality of the player we put out and the quality of programme we run. Every year is a stepping stone."

Rabo caps for academy players…. "I'm delighted the lads got their recent caps, it was a reward for good form all year and the senior coaches picked up on that. I think Ronan O'Mahony has been excellent all year and has improved immensely over the last two years and worked very hard at his game and I'm delighted to see him get two caps for Munster.

James Cronin the same, has come on now twice, a small amount of time against Leinster but made an impact against Zebre, and Cian Bohane got his run as well. Niall Scannell was on the bench and Duncan Casey on the bench previously in a pre-season game so I think it was good enough and they built up over time. The A programme very much helped the lads, they were in the shop window a small bit and they produced big performances."

B&I Cup knock-out…. "It was very disappointing to bow out at that stage, we would be disappointed as a squad with how we performed, with some of the unforced errors and our discipline was an issue but credit to Leinster, they came down and played well, building scores very well."

New recruits…. "A fresh batch of players will be coming in this year, maybe seven or eight and it will probably be a very young academy for the next year or so but that's ok. We mightn't see the same progression next year into the senior squad, it might be two years before we see a big movement up the cycle but that's alright, things move in cycles.

We've obviously targeted a few areas along the lines of the succession plan between senior and academy, in areas we need to build strength in and we know who we want. Guys have exams at the moment and we don't like to put pressure on them at this time so we just have to sign off on small details and we'll confirm the names then at the end of the month."

Ongoing.... "Guys are still in the gym, and we are doing a lot of skills work. We've run a 7s programme over the last month and took a development squad to the Kinsale 7s, mostly comprising of sub academy and year 1 academy players. We're going to Glasgow this Saturday for the Glasgow City 7s, a tournament we played in also last year and we find it provides a good learning environment and is good for player development.

We take most of June off then and come back on the 25th of June, a week earlier than the seniors. We'll mix in with them then for two weeks and we go back and work away ourselves as normal afterwards."

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