Appointed as Elite Player Development Officer at the end of May this year, Ian Costello has joined the team in the Munster Rugby Development Office to focus on the development of up and coming young rugby players. Based primarily within the Munster Rugby Academy base in Limerick, Ian works with the Level 1 and Level 2 Academy players helping to develop their individual and positional skills. He is involved in designing and implementing the group and one on one skill sessions that are an intricate part of the training within the Academy. Part of his job entails working with the players using video analysis to evaluate their match performance and identify the strengths and weaknesses to be addressed in future technical sessions. Ian designs and implements the Academy Level 1 Conditioning programme at the University of Limerick while Level 2 Academy players train with the Munster Senior squad Fitness Advisors. He is also involved in working with local school coaches and the elite underage provincial squad coaches to identify and develop players with potential to progress into the Academy.
With the heavy demands on young players nowadays, Ian is involved in helping them to meet some of the challenges they face, including their time management. The majority of the players are in Third level education and a number of players work full-time. The challenge is to ensure the players get the appropriate balance between college, conditioning training, skill development and rest and relaxation.
Despite holding the position for just a few months, Ian is already finding the work hugely rewarding. The most enjoyable part of the job is identifying young elite players with potential, working closely with them to improve their skills and knowing you can have a significant influence over their development towards being a successful professional rugby player. My aim in the short to medium term would be to ensure that all players I am responsible for achieve their true potential - and to develop their technical skills and conditioning levels to a standard that will allow them to compete successfully as professional rugby players.
Born in 1977 in Dingle in Co. Kerry, Ian has lived in Limerick for twenty four years. He went to school in Ardscoil Ris, Limerick and went onto complete an Honours Degree in Sport Science in the University of Limerick, graduating in 1999. He also recently completed a Certified Strength and Conditioning course with the NSCA of America and a Sales and Marketing Business Diploma. Prior to working with Munster Rugby Ian managed a Sports Centre in Tipperary and was employed as a part-time fitness advisor with the IRFU. In March 2004, he established my own Fitness Consultancy Company which he managed until beginning my employment with Munster Rugby.
He has always been passionate about rugby, and his playing career started as an eight year old in Garryowen FC. For the last seven years he has been playing Senior rugby with UL Bohemian RFC. Not content with playing, Ian has completed the Level 2 coaching course and in recent years was involved in coaching various UL Bohemian, Ardscoil Ris and University of Limerick rugby teams.