CORK man Eoin O’Sullivan has been appointed as the new Irish Warriors head coach.
After a distinguished club and international Aussie Rules career in Ireland, he is thrilled with his new managerial role.
“I am delighted. I am absolutely thrilled. It is a great honour,” he said.
“I have been coaching various teams for the last eight years. I went through the interview process and I was delighted when I was confirmed as the new head coach."
O'Sullivan, who retired from playing a few years ago, is currently involved in coaching the CIT AFL team, while he also serves as the vice-president of the Leeside Lions AFL team.
Training the international team will require a lot of commitment and travelling for the primary school teacher.
“We have clubs in Cork, Galway, Dublin, and Belfast so Dublin will be the meeting point and training centre.
“I also have plans to host regional training sessions in Cork, Galway, and Belfast which will cut down the travelling for some players and each place will get their turn to host an international team.”
The Cork sports enthusiast said he only got into Aussie Rules through a friend of his, Cian Quigley, back in 2009.
“I didn’t even realise there was a team in Cork until Cian invited me down. I did one training session and I was hooked.
“I never looked back. I grew up playing GAA. In 2010 I had trials to play on the international team.
“I made the squad which was a great experience. Cian and I made the World Cup squad in 2011. Cian was captain. It was a proud moment to represent my country.”
He is a great advocate for AFL.
I like the fact that you get rewarded for doing things right. If you catch a ball, you get a mark.
“If you kick accurately you get six points, or one if you don’t catch the ball as well. In GAA there is no set tackle, while in the AFL there is a set tackle.”
The new international manager is pleased that AFL has grown hugely in Cork.
“It has grown massively. A number of teams have been established in Cork in the last few years which is a testament the game’s popularity in Cork.
“There is a Leeside League held internally for the Cork clubs, while there is also a separate Premier League held on a national basis.
"The progress made by former GAA players Bríd Stack, Cora Staunton, and Orla O’Dwyer in the AFLW in recent years has also helped raise the profile of the sport. There are 14 players playing AFLW. They have helped to further enhance the sport.”