Changes in Con coaching set-up
IN addition to their changes in playing personnel, there has also been a significant alteration to Con’s coaching set-up this season.
Having played an instrumental role in their most recent march towards an AIL title, Paul Barr has departed ahead of the new season. Barr was credited with introducing a more expansive game plan to the Con side, who had been known primarily for their attritional nature in previous campaigns. This paid rich dividends for the Cork men as they got the better of ‘Tarf in that aforementioned decider at the Aviva Stadium.
Barr’s departure will see former Munster fly-half Jonny Holland taking on greater responsibility. Evan Mintern acknowledged they are unlikely to deviate too far from the structures that are already in place.
“Everyone knows we’re a big pack. We can bash up around the corner. When we play Lansdowne, Clontarf they can handle that.
“Barr came in and we played a much more expansive brand of rugby, with a blend of that ability to dog it out as well. Paul Barr is gone this year, but we’re still trying to keep as much of his way as possible and Jonny Holland’s there and we’re adding to it.”
Even though he is now an established part of the Temple Hill fabric, Mintern harbours ambitions of making it in the professional game. This will more than likely involve a move abroad following the completion of the upcoming season, but it is a challenge the CIT student is eager to embrace.
“In the back of my mind, I’m thinking ‘I would like to just go over and see what it’s like’. Take a chance, go over for a few years. [I’ll] finish my college degree in nutrition and health science. I’ve a year left.
“Finish that out, finish the season with Con. I love playing with Con. It’s not that I want to get out of there or anything, but I’m 23.
“Obviously that’s not old but, for pro clubs looking at you, they want to get bang for their buck. You have to be young, so they can get five, six years out of you. I need to get an agent.
“Sort that out, instead of them looking for me. At the moment, I had exam repeats. I was away on holidays. I was enjoying my summer. I hope by October, November to have sorted the agent. Get the video together and then plough on from there. If nothing comes back, nothing comes back.
“If I got old and I didn’t even try it, it’s something that would really annoy me. Whereas if you try and fail, what’s the big deal? At least you tried.
“But I feel there is more in me and I could move on and give it a crack. Because there’s nothing to lose really. As long as I’ve a college degree to fall back on you may as well.”