ANTHONY FOLEY SAYS that being appointed the new Munster coach was ‘surreal’ — but he is just not going to have the time to dwell on it.
He has worked his way up through the ranks as a player and coach but admitted that being asked to take the top job has hit him for six.
“It’s a bit surreal at the moment. It’s like it’s happening to somebody else to be honest,” he said.
Rugby has charted his life through St Munchin’s, Shannon, Munster and Ireland and readily admitted that taking over as head coach in July will consume his life.
“Being asked to be head coach here is special. It was always special when I was captain here it was always special when I got my first cap here and playing underage here. It’s a special time for any kid and to this point, I feel lucky. I’m going to grasp it with both hands and really go after it and try and make this as strong a club as possible.”
He was on a shortlist of three when Rob Penney got the job two years ago and admitted that he was very disappointed to lose out then, having been forwards coach under Tony McGahan for a few seasons.
“Through my career, I’ve worked with Munster U20s, I’ve worked with the A side coming through, I’ve worked with a lot with these guys that I’m being asked to take charge from next season on. Getting a taste of it along the way, missing out the last time you know, it hurt.
“You take your learnings from that and try and improve and I’ve really enjoyed my involvement with the Wolfhounds. It really gave me a feel for having a team and I’m looking forward to next season already.”
But Foley stressed that pushing on and winning silverware this season was now the primary task and that is what his focus will be on.
“We’re in a good place in the Rabo, we’re in a good place in the Heineken as well and it’s very important that we keep on task here and make sure that we go hard to the end of the year.
“We do keep ourselves busy around here. We go from week to week in our job and we’ve got new opposition coming up every week so for something like this you, it hits you. It hits you hard.
“Everything is a process around here and you know it hasn’t really settled in yet and it won’t until July which is when the job start. There’s obviously a lot of stuff to be done between now and then in terms of tidying up around recruitment and tidying up around backroom staff and stuff like that for next year. That will happen over a period of time that won’t happen today or tomorrow.
“It’s just important that we get the right people in and we get off on the right foot in July but for me we’re in two competitions,” added Foley.
He said his appointment would not have any impact with current head coach Rob Penney from now to the end of the season, and he paid tribute to the work of the Kiwi.
“We’re getting on with our job we have Ospreys in our sights this weekend and it will be a very tough game. We saw what they did to Treviso. When you’re in this environment you work from week to week and you have your process in place and you make sure you get the job done for the team in front of you. I know that sounds very boring but that’s what it is.
“In order to do your job properly, you can’t get off kilter. Rob is doing a great job, look at where we are. Everybody is behind him 100%, it’s just about Ospreys next, Scarlets after that and then we get a break. Over that break we relax a small bit and take a bit of time off,” he added.