CITY OF DERRY have confirmed head coach Bevan Lynch (below) will remain in his position next season as the club makes the step up to All Ireland League Division 2A.
MICHAEL WILSON reports
The news caps a superb weekend for the local club which saw it claim its first ever AIL title and a second successive promotion.
There had been some doubts over Lynch’s future after the club lost its main sponsor, E-Tech Solutions, at Christmas, only four months into a three year deal. That loss of revenue at the club meant the head coach role, to which Lynch had been appointed on a three year, full-time deal at the beginning of the 2008/09 season, was likely to be reduced to part-time, putting a question mark over the ability of Lynch to remain in Ireland with his wife and young family.
However those questions were answered yesterday as Derry Vice-chairman of Playing, Moss Dineen, confirmed an agreement had been reached and Lynch would continue in the Judges Road hotseat.
“We are delighted to confirm Bevan will remain with the club next season,” explained Mr. Dineen.
“He has done a wonderful job for the club over the past few seasons and we were determined to make sure he stayed with the club. When Bevan took over the club was at a low ebb following our relegation to Junior rugby but he has helped transform the club.
“He has developed a young, local based team which plays a very attractive style of rugby and it is fantastic he has agreed to remain at judges Road to take us up into Division 2A next season.”
Even before he was confirmed in the position for next season Lynch was already making plans and admitted he will need to strengthen the squad if they are to continue their climb up the divisions.
“Our main priority was to go up and it was a lofty goal,” explained Lynch, “A lot of people were mocking us for saying we were going to go up but when you strip it down it was a good progression for us but next year we have to go up a level again.
“There will be no difficulty in keeping the players. I don’t want to be complacent about it but they are a very tight group and I would be surprised if anyone looked anywhere else and why would you go elsewhere?
“Three sides, Ballymena, Ballynahinch and Harlequins have all gone out of that grade and we have beaten all three of those teams at some stage during the season, so it is not a division which will frighten us.
“Again we will set our goals at trying to get up for the third time and I think if we get a good off-season - and that’s the key thing - if we can get a bit more physicality into our game and up the concentration, then we are in with a good shout of being competitive at that level.”