Maynooth University, Ultimate Frisbee

Conor O’Neill, Maynooth University, end of season review

By @SimonCocking


How did the season go for your team?

This season was a bit of a mix of highs and lows, of course the highs outweigh the lows. The year started off with a very strong performance from the guys at indoor IVs. After indoor IVs it took us a while to transition to outdoors, but we eventually got going and a great couple of weeks at training. But then, as is often the case, college gets in the way so the training were a little less attended than I was hoping they would have been. We kept going though and in the end it definitely paid off, we had a great team performance at Siege with some incredible games (and partying). Siege was an eye-opener for us in terms off what we had to work on for IVs, so we really trained hard and pushed each other from then on. IVs was the most important tournament for us this year, not only because it’s IVs, but because for a LOT of us, it was our final tournament in a Maynooth Jersey. We had a great weekend, losing just 3 of our 7 or so games and finishing 5th, unfortunately dropping out of the top 4.


What were the team’s highlights, and your own ones too?

If I’m not mistaken, this was the first year Maynooth was able to field two teams for mixed IVs, which is a pretty cool milestone in the clubs development. And I mean Siege is always up there with the best moments of the year, but I think my own personal highlights were just the commitment from the lads at every training, even if there weren’t enough numbers to have a proper 7v7 games, everyone still pushed themselves so I really have to commend and thank them for that.


Anything you would have done differently, looking back?

Maybe not be as much of a hard ass at training. I think I may have discouraged a few people from time to time, by shouting and getting riled up a little too much. If I had a chance to go back I would have been a little more relaxed and understanding of the fact that not everyone takes this sh*t as serious as I did.


How did freshers fair go (way back when)? & Did you get many players who had played previously (at school)?

Freshers was really good for us this year, we got a huge haul of beginners who were instantly hooked and committed as much of their time and effort as they could. I think we had a good few who had played as part of their PE class in secondary school but I don’t think we gained anyone who had played for a club before. One of our own players, Kevin Nolan a.k.a. Panda, had actually coached one of our beginners at a school Blitz last year, so it was cool to see his work pay off and encourage him to play in Maynooth.

How many were still playing by the end of the year?

I think by the end of the year there were about 16 or so still playing. We had a lot international students playing with us too from America, Germany, Tenerife and one girl I’m still not quite sure of where she’s from (Ali???)

Was this the usual sort of level, or did you do anything different this year, which had more or less success in retaining / gaining new players?

I guess so, we usually have around 10-15 players sticking around, we didn’t do anything extraordinary this year, we were just being our friendly Maynooth selves. Maynooth have a somewhat small club, compared to other colleges throughout the country, so we tend to get really close really quick, and maybe sometimes a little too close.

Was this the usual sort of level, or did you do anything different this year, which had more or less success in retaining / gaining new players?

I think one thing that really did help us this year was our Beginners Coach, Daniel Toomey. Toomey did a phenomenal job all year developing the newbies into really good players, so a big thank you to him for all his hard work.

How many of your first team players will you be losing? Are you excited / positive about 2015/6?

Unfortunately Maynooth is losing a big group of players. We’re losing at least 7 people from our first team. In our last point of our last game against Galway at IVs we played the 7 lads who are leaving (that point actually took a while because we all got so excited and ended up turning 2 or 3 times before finally finishing it off). Although we’re losing a bunch of players I’m very excited to see how this team will do in the next few years. We have a few returning players, who spent the year in America and China, and we have the talented young lads looking to become even better next year. If the lads really work hard and drive their recruitment they will do a great job next year.

Will many of your team be playing in the summer somewhere? (Worlds / summer lge etc)

I myself will be playing in u23 Worlds in July, which is gonna be class! Pip will also be playing in worlds on the mixed team, and Siobhan and Jessica will be playing on the u20 womens team in Frankfurt (I believe). So we have a good few players representing Ireland this year. I think this is also the first time Maynooth has had 3 girls representing Ireland. Staying closer to home a lot of the past and present players will be playing in Summer League with their newly founded club Uproar. So everyone will be getting their fix of summer ultimate!

Will you follow the progress of the various Irish teams going to international tournaments this summer?

Of course, I’ll be following the mixed team closely at worlds. I’m not entirely sure when EUC is on, or EYUC for that matter, but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Facebook and Twitter. I’m also looking forward to the videos Conor Hogan will be no doubt posting on Youtube once he gets home. It’s going to be a great summer for Irish Ultimate, I can feel it!

Anything you plan to do to improve your own game over the summer?

Just work my ass off! I really want to work on contesting high flying/ floating discs. Sometimes I get up high but the disc just bounces off my palm, maybe because I’m surprised I got up that high. I also want to work on my endurance and not getting burnt out too quickly. So I’ll definitely have a tough summer ahead of me, but it’ll be worth it come worlds and All Irelands.

What else should we have asked you / would you like to add?

I think you did a good job on the questions. One thing I would like to say is a massive thank you to the whole Maynooth team, this year and the last two years, for making my college experience a lot more enjoyable, without this lot I probably wouldn’t have stayed in college all that long, so thank you for that.

I’d also like to give a special mention to Darragh Herd, Conor Phelan, Lukas Giedraitis, Brian Og Caball and everyone else who came before me, and of course yourself Simon, for all the hard work they put into Maynooth Ultimate over the years. From starting the club for fun to building it up to what it is now is a great achievement. Without you lot this wouldn’t be possible!


One thought on “Conor O’Neill, Maynooth University, end of season review

  1. Pingback: Marks out of 10, Irish colleges end of season review, with bonus content | Sarah Paddle Swim

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