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Dunedin armchair expert confident of being next Highlanders coach

Older man in armchair with newspaper

As the Otago Highlanders get their search for a new head coach underway, Dunedin resident and well regarded armchair expert Jim McGinity is quietly confident that his application will be successful.

“I’ve been watching the rugby since before you were born,” Mr McGinity said from his St Clair Beach porch this morning. “Heck, I was listening to rugby on the wireless probably before your parents were even born, that’s how experienced I am.”

McGinity, who neighbours believe to be aged somewhere in his 80s, shouted to passing media today that he had put his hat in the ring for the job and that he was confident of being a shoo-in.

“Otago teams need real southerners leading them, not those wee ponsy Aucklanders,” Mr McGinity called out from his rocking chair. “Ain’t no ones job but a true southern lad, and I’ve been waiting for my chance to tell those lads to pull their heads in and tackle that damned Cantab bastard for years now.”

While most of our interview with Mr McGinity was incoherent, his daughter Mable McGinity was confident he’d be a great addition to the Highlanders coaching team.

“Well, I’m not rugby expert myself, but some of my strongest memories of Dad growing up was of him with a Speights in one hand, remote in the other, shouting abuse at Otago in the old National Provincial Championship,” said Mable. “He always seemed to know what he was talking about, that they needed to make a certain tackle, put their back into it, to get up and be a real man, so I’m pretty sure he’s got a good chance.”

Punters at the local sports bar were equally as enthused.

“Yeah, old Jim is a pretty wise old head,” said Stephen Hogan, a former Otago University student. “I remember stories at Uni about when he was head coach of the Thirsty Thirds. A tough guy, but really knew his stuff, and wasn’t afraid to down a Speights with the boys.”

Other potential candidates for the Highlanders’ head coach role weren’t willing to comment on McGinity’s application, aside from current assistant coach Tony Brown who fondly remembered him.

“Old Jim McGinity? Yeah I remember him, he was pretty pissed off that time we burnt a couch on his front lawn.”