Sean Duignan and Pat Devane will be at the helm in Monivea RFC for the 2013/14 season as the Connacht kingpins look to maintain their firm grip on the provincial league title crown.
Duignan was involved last season with Paul Flanagan who moves on to join his former club Buccaneers as forwards coach after delivering a league and cup double for the Galway club.
Pat Devane captained Monivea to their previous Junior Cup success in 2009 but he was forced into early retirement through injury and has picked up his coaching badges in the mean time. The coaching ticket is completed with former prop Cathal Divilly on board as manager.
The task for the new brainstrust is to do a partial re-build and hold onto the core of the current group in the process.
Success over the past five years at under 17 and 19 level has left them with plenty of young prospects in key possessions which might help bridge the gap between what’s coming through and the squad which has dominated club rugby in the west of Ireland for 12 seasons.
The number of ‘dual status’ players they end up with will be key, young Connacht under 19s star Caolan Blade will be involved with Galwegians this year but will remain dual status with Monivea, it could be his last season with his home town club as his upward trajectory in the game continues.
Some of the more established key members of the squad are expected to return later in the season meaning Monivea will be looking to set the tone in the early league games with a changed squad.
The next couple of weeks will tell a tale ahead of the opening day of the new season on the weekend of August 31/September 1st where Monivea begin with a hugely challenging home clash against last season’s runners up Ballina.
Caption: Monivea and Ballina will clash in round one of the league later this month. The picture is taken from their gripping Junior Cup clash back in January which the Galway side won at Heffernan Park. Pic: Corinne Beattie.