Jerry Flannery discusses why he stepped away from Munster
"You get a gut feeling and it just didn’t feel right for me."
When Jerry Flannery announced he would be stepping away from his role as forwards coach with Munster, there was a lot of surprise among fans.
Flannery had been part of a backroom team that had led Munster to three straight Champion's Cup semi-finals in the last three seasons.
Both he and Felix Jones (backs coach) announced their departures from Munster at the same time, spelling an end to the recent era of former players working as coaches at senior level in the province.
Flannery, who is a shareholder in JOE, appeared on Ireland Unfiltered with Dion Fanning to discuss his departure from Munster, is he finished with rugby, and his future work with JOE.
Addressing why he decided to leave Munster, Flannery explained that while he still has great time for the people of Munster Rugby, he felt it was time for him to move on.
"You get a gut feeling and it just didn’t feel right for me," Flannery said. "And I’ve great time for the people in there and I could give you some reasons why I did step away.
"Coaching is very, very demanding and it can be possibly be considered selfish at times because your family and your kids they have to sacrifice quite a lot. If you look at Munster at the moment, the coaches that are there, Johann van Graan has travelled thousands of miles from South Africa.
"JP Ferreira has travelled from South Africa. Stephen Larkham’s come all the way from Australia, Graham Rowntree came over from England. So they’re actually sacrificing a lot more in terms of having to uproot their families to come over here."
He knew he was luckier than most having a coaching job right on his back door, but by leaving now Flannery was making the decision that he may have to travel farther afield for work, should he want to make a return to coaching.
"When I grew up I could run up to Thomond Park, where I live in Limerick now is very close to the training centre so we haven’t had to sacrifice the same as other coaches and that will be probably a test if after a couple of years or a year I start to go “Oh I really miss professional sport, I really miss coaching,'” he said.
"There probably won’t be an opportunity for me to go back into Munster and then that would be the case there where I have to sit with my partner and say, 'Would you be open to the idea of maybe going abroad? Maybe going to England or going to France?' and weighing that up then.
"But at the moment I’ve been lucky enough that I could afford myself the opportunity to step out of the job with Munster and if Munster can go on and win a European Cup next year and the following year then I’ll be delighted. It’s still the club I love."