SURROUND yourself with great people, delegate, and success will follow.
I always felt the importance of a great manager can be shown by the staff they assemble. Strong, opinionated, knowledgeable and people who will challenge the boss for the good of the team.
Stephen Montgomery is one of those guys and he is part of the excellent backroom coaching staff of Eddie Kenny’s Munster Senior League side Rockmount.
Monty, a lifelong member of the Whitechurch club, is enjoying his role as coach after a superb playing career that ended after two cruciate ligament injuries. He has had a memorable journey at his beloved club, a career that was driven mainly by his good friend the late Jamesie Corcoran.
"I began at the club at U11s and was lucky to have some fantastic memories all through the years. I was lucky to captain the U17 and minors to many league titles and then onto junior where I enjoyed a lot of success under Jamesie.
"From here Jamesie gave me the confidence and belief to push on and play senior which resulted in me being part of a superb side and again I had a lot of success winning many MSL and cup titles."
The natural progression for many players is to move into a coaching role and father of two, Max and Grace, Montgomery always knew he would stay involved at some capacity. To be with a team that is playing superbly and have reached the quarter-final of the Intermediate Cup, things couldn't be going better.
"After being with the club for so long I really wanted to give something back and I am loving the coaching role.I believe our coaching staff is one of the best around. Eddie is the manager and served his time under the great Billy Cronin, Derek Clarke likewise.
"Alan Martin is a Rockmount legend and his experience and track record speaks for itself he has won the lot as a player. Ethan McCarthy’s coaching, appetite and passion for the game is infectious. Sean Barry and Derek Power bring their own qualities to the squad and have a vast knowledge of the league and the players.
“We have had an unbelievable start: nine wins and a draw in 10 league games speaks for itself, and it's all down to the attitude of the players. We know no one will ever replace Billy but all we try to do is be the best version of ourselves and it's worked. We can’t ask any more of the players."
They have 18 to 24 at every training session.
"We lost to Corinthians in the Keane Cup final, a game I feel we dominated from start to finish but wasn’t meant to be. However in my opinion that loss has worked in our favour. It has made us hungry to get the first bit of silverware on the table soon.”
Rockmount have reached the Intermediate Cup quarter-final after a great 2-1 win up in Inchichore last week. This set them up for a home draw against Donegal side Bonagee. A physical side but one in which Montgomery knows his side is ready for.
“It will be a physical battle no doubt but we are ready for that challenge. It is fantastic to get a home draw and we hope to get a lot of support out for the lads. The opposition played local side Everton in the previous round so I have no doubt our former player and manager of the Togher side, Willie Byrne, will give us as much information to help us through to the semi-final which will also be a home draw.
"There is something about the intermediate cup that gives everyone that extra bit of a lift. It's a great competition to be involved at the business end of the season.
“We have a great squad, the two legends Ken Hoey and Brendan O’Connell along with Hughie O’Donovan need no introduction, along with Danny Ahern and Jason sexton who help the younger squad members along. Cian Leonard's goals and League of Ireland experience is vital in nurturing the likes of James O’Connell, Jack Waters and Eoin Murphy. We have a good crop of 19s coming through in Ryan O’Connor and Jake Murphy which is encouraging for the club.
"Obviously, with Billy stepping down Eddie had big boots to fill but to be fair to him he’s done well to keep players and add to the squad. He kept the core of Billy's squad and added in some excellent young players in Eoin Murphy and Adam Crowley.
"The big squad keeps everyone on their toes. We as a club take pride in the people involved at the club. Those that do so much work and always may not get the credit are the likes of the great John Delea, John O’Shea, Billy Cronin, Barry Kelleher and Declan Courtney all make it possible and without these people there would be no Rockmount.
“As a coach, I will be working hard to win silverware this season and any success we have will be dedicated to our friends who have passed before us in recent years. David and Tony Leahy, Jamsie Corcoran and young Sean Kelleher the brother of our team mate Cian and current chairman Barry Kelleher."