DEPARTING Garryowen FC head coach, Tom Tierney insisted his disappointing final season with the ‘light blues’ would not undermine his ambition to coach at the highest level in the game.
Tierney’s second season with the Dooradoyle club as head coach saw the ‘light blues relegated to Division 1B of the AIL, although Garryowen ended the season on a high when scuppering Old Belvedere’s title ambitions in front of the RTE cameras on Saturday last.
Former Ireland international scrum-half Tierney said: “The disappointment of Garryowen is not going to stop me going for my goals and trying to reach them. There is no way I will lose confidence in my own ability because I know exactly what I am about as a coach, the same way as a I was as a player. It is a learning curve and something that while very disappointing, it is nothing that is going to stop me from striving for my goals.
“I had a two year contract with Garryowen. Obviously, the first year went better than anything we could have hoped for. It was the complete opposite this year.
“It’s a results-based game and if you get relegated, you have to have a look and yourself and see where you went right and where you went wrong. Obviously, there were areas where we made mistakes, but that’s human nature, that’s life. I would loved to have stayed with Garryowen for another year.
“There was the potential option of another year, but the decision wasn’t been made quick enough and I felt, right, I have to make my own decision and it was to leave on a high of the Belvedere win. It is so frustrating at the same time because if you can put in a performance like that - albeit when there was no pressure and nothing to lose - some of the areas we did well in last weekend, we didn’t do well in during the league.”
Tierney spent three years as head coach to Crescent College’s Schools Senior Cup side before joining Garryowen’s backroom team as assistant to Paul Cunningham initially, before stepping into the head coach role.
Tierney, who has completed a highly successful first season of two as head coach to the Ireland Club side added: “I am six years into it (coaching). This year has been the biggest learning curve. That is the positive you take out of it. You learn the hard way - and definitely this season was the hard way. It is all about going to the next job now and seeing who wants me. I am available again. Whoever wants to employ me.”
The former Munster, Leicester Tigers and Connacht scrum-half said coaching abroad is a challenge he would welcome in the near future.
Tierney said: “The beauty of being involved in the game for 17 years, 11 as a player and six as a coach, is that where ever the work is, you go. It (moving overseas) didn’t bother me as a player. It won’t bother me as a coach. I want to be a professional coach. I am completing my Level 5 IRB licence, my professional licence. Once that happens, I can move. I will be in a position to go for the fully professional jobs, another year under my belt in Ireland, as a semi-pro coach or part-time coach, expenses-based coach, then I will be a fully fledged pro coach.”