Jerry Flannery speaks movingly about Anthony Foley

Former Munster and Ireland player talks to Off The Ball about developing as a coach

BY Raf Diallo 20:32 Tuesday 14 March 2017, 20:32 14 Mar 2017

Jerry Flannery ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Since ending his Munster career in 2012, Jerry Flannery has gone down the coaching route.

The ex-Ireland hooker is now taking his Grand Slam and Heineken Cup winning experience and applying it to a key role in Munster coaching setup and tonight he spoke to Off The Ball about how he is growing into the role. 

Flannery began by speaking about what he learned from his time working at Arsenal FC, especially in regards to the development of young players and work ethic.

That has taken him to coaching at Munster where he has taken lessons from the experience, in the sense that winning is not the be all and end all.

"If I'm honest, I think I kind of came into coaching with a very simplistic view. I just wanted to win and I hadn't really fully embraced or understood what coaching was enough," he explained.


Munster’s Jerry Flannery and Anthony Foley ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"As a coach you have to enjoy the process of preparing the players from Monday to Friday, put them in the best possible position to go and execute on Saturday and I probably didn't appreciate that enough at the start and I was very much outcome based. My happiness all depended on whether we won or whether we lost.

"I'm still very young as a coach, I don't have a huge amount of experience but I'm enjoying it a lot more. It's just a really good environment to work in."

Flannery had been part of a coaching team with former Munster head coach and long time provincial and Ireland team-mate Anthony Foley, who passed away last October.

He spoke movingly about his long time friend and team-mate, saying: "I would happily give up everything that we have here to have Axel back with us. He was the guy who wanted Munster to win more than anything." 

Regarding Foley's great aura, he went on to say, "Axel's been a constant in my life since I was 12 and he was always the kind of guy that I looked up to."

Flannery also explained how proud he was of the current and former team-mates in the wake of the tragic events as everyone rallied together in support of each other.

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week