Joe McCarthy Reports from South Africa

On January 5 th, we arrived at Dublin’s Terminal 2 airport in order to take the first flight of our 3-legged journey to Durban, South Africa. After a short flight to Heathrow we had a long delay before we boarded our long-haul flight to Johannesburg which was roughly 11 hours. In Johannesburg, we went our separate ways from Mikey O’ Reilly who was going to St Stithians as well as Matthew Lynch and Seamus Lynch who were off to Muir College in Uitenhage. The delay in Heathrow caused us to miss our connecting flight so we got a later flight to Durban at 2:30pm. With the complications of missing the connecting flight it meant one of my bags was lost in transit but it did arrived in Glenwood the following day.

We were greeted by our new school’s sports manager Mr Munro in Durban airport and were brought to Glenwood High School. Upon arrival we dropped our bags off in the boarding establishment which is known locally as Gibson House. Then Mr Munro gave us a tour of the impressive facilities the school has to offer. We then were introduced to the Prefects who invited us to watch them teach the new Grade 8’s the Glenwood and Gibson House ‘war cry’. We met SJ de Klerk from YMCA CC who had just returned from the Grey High pre-season festival at Port Elizabeth as well as Erik Hartman and Yastri Naidoo who both played in Dublin last summer.

Over the next few days we practiced ourselves before the school term officially started. I think we all felt this was valuable time to acclimatize to the hot and humid conditions Durban is famous for. It also allowed us time to hit the beach, the waves were stronger then back home but that didn’t stop any of us enjoying the warm Indian Ocean.

Once term started, we trained with Mr Munro’s 2nd team for net practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays and fielding practice on Wednesdays. We also met Craig Yelverton (North Down CC coach), the head of cricket at the Futura Sports Agency which is based in the Medical Centre in school. We are due to start a 4-week training programme with Futura from the start of February which consists of nets, gym, fitness at the beach as well as the great opportunity to bowl to international players from both Sri Lanka & Pakistan at Durban’s Kingsmead stadium.

We also helped out with the Grade 8 Orientation camp. The goal of the camp is for the students to instil some of the schools core values; character and team work as well as to help them bond through tough challenges in the harsh Durban heat.

On Saturday we are all set to make our debuts for Glenwood at home against St Charles College which will be a highly contested game.

I would like to thank everyone at home and here who made this trip possible and we are all looking forward to making the most of this exciting opportunity.

Joe McCarthy

St Mary’s College & Phoenix CC