Sligo RFC has announced their new Forwards’ / Assistant Coach for the 2021/22 season. New Zealand native Simon Galvan will need no introduction to Hamilton Park, as he is a former player/Coach and Head Coach with the Club, and his three sons currently play with Sligo RFC at Juvenile and Youth level.
Simon started his coaching career in 1995 whilst completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Sport at Massey University. Part of the course requirement was to coach for the year, and he was given an U14 team at Palmerston North Boys High. At that time, the school’s first fifteen (senior cup) coach was a then unknown Joe Schmidt.
A rugby scholarship to attend and play for UCD in 1995/96 brought Simon to Ireland, where he also coached Catholic University School’s (CUS) Junior and Senior cup teams. At the end of his time in Dublin he made his way to Sligo, where he expected to stay for 6 months, however, after meeting his future wife Noelle, he played two rugby seasons before returning to New Zealand.
Simon returned six years later to settle in Sligo and, in the interim, had played with various teams at club level in Ireland and New Zealand, as well as at Provincial level in New Zealand, in what was then called the NPC (National Provincial Championship)
Simon was player/coach of Sligo RFC in 2005/06, when they were unfortunate to lose the Connacht Junior League final play off in the final play of the game. After a 3 year break he returned as Head Coach in the 2009/10 season. The 2010/11 season culminated in an historic Connacht Junior league and Cup double and gaining promotion into the All-Ireland League 2B (as it was then divided into 4 divisions).
Whilst coaching the Sligo Senior team, Simon also coached at Sligo Grammar School. He was involved in coaching the Senior Cup team for six years, reaching the Connacht Schools’ Senior Cup final four times and winning it twice and, within the same time frame, coaching the Junior Cup for three years, where they reached the Connacht Schools’ Junior Cup final every year, winning it on one occasion.
In 2014, he handed over the coaching reins to Gavin Foley, but he is looking forward to taking up the mantle once more. He gave great credit to previous coaches and the club committee who have worked very hard to promote Sligo Rugby Club, developing the underage system and then supporting players as they come into the senior team.
“I am looking forward to the challenge ahead in supporting Josh and being part of the set up, and hopefully making a contribution as the club continues its rise”
The club is very excited to have Simon back coaching. His experience and knowledge will have a huge positive impact on the squad and his side line guidance during matches will prove invaluable. By adding Simon to the management team, the club believes that they have achieved a very balanced approach to their senior coaching ticket.