AJ McGintys Incredible Rugby Season
My last match with the club was a memorable win against Old Belvo at home in 2012, and also the first time I would play with my cousin Gonzo (David Gannon)! As much as I enjoyed that day, I felt quite sad as I bid farewell to my club, teammates and coaches to embark on an adventure in the US.
I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer but I could never have imagined the year just passed. It is true when people say “anything is possible”. From May 2015 to June 2016 has been the most incredible experience of my life. What a journey it has been not only figuratively but also in terms of distance travelled with games in Uruguay, Argentina, California, Toronto, Vancouver, Ontario, Philadelphia, Chicago, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Italy and even the coldest professional rugby game of all time at temperatures of -20 in Siberia.
I went in to my first camp in February 2015 with the USA Domestic Team and fortunately the highs kept coming. I made my international debut in San Jose against Samoa last July, then two wins over the USA’s biggest rivals Canada, playing Australia in the Chicago Bears football stadium and playing in a World Cup are lifetime experiences alone. To then sign my first professional contract with Connacht, beat Munster in Thomond, back to back sell out wins over Glasgow in the Sportsground and then being part of the first Connacht team to win the Pro 12 in Murrayfield. It brings a massive smile to my face as I’m writing this!
My next challenge lies in the premiership with Sale Sharks next season and I am really excited for this opportunity. I’ve had a taste of success and I want more. I want to wish the club all the best this season and as always I will be keeping an eye on results. The best part of my college years were spent down there; playing with the 20’s under the guidance of Mick Hearty, Greg Mc, Deccy Smith (my advisor/abuser!!), Claffo who we won the McCorry Cup with in 2010, Freddy Connolly, Uncle Mungo, Mark Fallon, Freddy Corr, O’Leary and my little brother Mark!! A long list of funny memories. Finally I want to thank all the members for the support over the past 12 months and also my time playing in the club.