Club Focus: DBS Eanna
August 09, 2020
DBS Éanna finished 3rd in the men’s Super League last season and also reached the Cup final, losing out 78-68 to Griffith College Templeogue. Darren McGovern once again takes charge for the 2020/21 season, his third season in charge of the senior side, having coached underage teams. He’s also been coaching at DkIT for the last 14 years. He took some time to speak with Basketball Ireland ahead of the new season.
Q: Did it initially feel like a 'what might have been' season last season, missing out in the Cup final to Griffith College Templeogue and finishing third in the Super League - how do you assess it now looking back?
“Looking back we see the season as progress and we are going in the right direction. Obviously things could have been different, but not many people would have said we'd be in the biggest game in Irish basketball and finish 3rd in the Super League. Next season, like every new season, has all new obstacles so we are hoping to be in the mix of the big games just like a lot of teams are. We had many high nights in a packed Éanna gym beating the likes of top teams like Tralee and UCD. Those are signs we are getting to grips with the Super League and we can hang with the big boys.
Q: No doubt as a coach there's a lot of introspection and self-analysis, what did you learn from last season?
“We definitely learned you cannot have a poor form month. Unfortunately that came for us in January. Losing the Cup final and three league games effectively ended our chances. We'll look at ways of combating that going into this season.”
Q: What aspects do you think the team need to improve on to challenge for honours again this season?
“Addressing the dip in form has been looked at and identified. Having a deeper bench that will be team-first guys is crucial. You can see from all Super League and Cup winners. They have the team guys - guys who have had the years of experience to figure things out. Maybe we can figure things out fast.”
Q: There's a change to a Conference format next season, with DBS Éanna competing in the North Conference alongside Belfast Star, UCD Marian, Griffith College Templeogue, Pyrobel Killester and DCU Saints, that's six of the top seven Super League sides from last season - how intense do you expect the Conference to be?
“It's going to be dog fights every week in the North. Dublin derbies almost every week bar the Star games and they'll be intense too. To top it off we'll have a lovely few trips south. It's going to be as tough as ever next season. After this lay off I think we all are beginning to get excited about starting back.”
Q: One of your Dublin rivals DCU Saints have appointed Darren O'Neill as head coach, how much are looking forward to pitting your wits against him?
“Vincent’s has a great history with amazing teams and coaches through the years. Darren taking over is no different to what they are used to. He'll inherit a good side with youth and experience and no doubt that appointment will bring some good signings also.”
Q: With Covid-19 how much more difficult has it been to prepare and recruit for this season compared to previous years? What has been your most difficult challenge?
“The challenges have been the same for us all. How do we get into the gym? Schools not being prepared to open to some clubs has been tough. Our club committee has done an unbelievable job in getting us all in the club back into Éanna in a safe way. The most difficult part was physical contact with the team. We are a close-knit squad, but we kept in touch as much as possible. Recruiting was similar to previous years so not much changed there.”
Q: Are there any new squad signings that you can tell us about that Éanna fans can look forward to watching?
The recruiting has continued in the background with our great partnership with Dublin Business School. That part of the summer is enjoyable looking at players and figuring out if they'll adjust to our team's style. We'll have some new familiar faces with us and some new exciting players also. The club will be announcing some new players over the coming weeks so look out for that. Tight lipped, I know! But I do think neutrals will continue to enjoy watching our games for the fast-paced exciting type of games.”
In case you missed it: Bench Talk - Gráinne and Niamh Dwyer