Our series paying tribute to those who have helped shape the destiny of Irish cricket, primarily off the field continues with a look at the remarkable work carried by Brķan O'Rourke.

O'Rourke has moulded so many young Irish cricketers, inspiring generations to take up the wonderful sport of cricket.

A fine cricketer himself who played Irish youth cricket, as well as representing Leinster at senior interprovincial level, his coaching career started at the young age of 22, with a six month tenure at the Transvaal Cricket Board in South Africa during the 1993/94 season.

(Brian batting for Rush against Railway Union in the 2005 Irish Senior Cup final)

Coaching in townships around Johannesburg, and assisting with their provincial youth squads he caught the bug and this was the start of his journey. Back in Ireland, a coaching stint at his own club Pembroke was followed by a role at Merrion.

His strong passion for the game was evident to all that came into contact with O'Rourke and he soon grew within the ranks. Mike Hendrick took him on a tour to England with the Ireland Development squad, that included Ed Joyce in 1997.

Adi Birrell is cited as a major influence, opening his eyes to the value and impact that top quality man management can have on coaching. Another who he regards highly is former Performance Director Mark Garaway, "without doubt the best technical coach and cricket communicate I have ever worked with".

The Dubliner has spread his tentacles wide, and took bits from other sports, including rugby gaelic football, swimming and water polo - which he has played at a high level.

His coaching philosophy has been fueled by his three guiding principles that have been the bedrock of his ethos: hard work, discipline and respect.

His establishment of links with South African schools, the founding and expansion of the Leprechaun Cup, and numerous tours are all great achievements with a legacy that is quantifiable.

He led Ireland U19s to three successive World Cup qualifying campaigns, no mean achievement in the cut-throat Associate world, and it's perhaps one of his big regrets that a Full Member scalp wasn't achieved as they came agonizingly close in matches against West Indies, England and New Zealand.

(Brian O'Rourke, Eoin Morgan and Brian Walsh)

Through his development work with Leinster and Ireland, he came into close proximity with a number of future internationals, who are always quick to recognize the role played by O'Rourke in their formative years.

It was he who spotted George Dockrell's potential, converting the Leinster player from a left-arm paceman into a spinner, and a career that has seen him develop into one of Irish cricket's all-time leading wicket takers.

Irish captain Andrew Balbirnie is another big admirer of Brian, and it was O'Rourke who was to play a prominent role helping their beloved Pembroke clinch the holy grail of the Irish Senior Cup in 2019.

"Brķan O'Rourke is probably the main reason I got into cricket as a teenager," said Irish skipper Balbirnie.

"Growing up at that time in Ireland where cricket wasn't a mainstream sport, he put the hours in and helped me immensely. Going on those Leinster under-age tours to Durham and Wolverhampton were great factors in my development and stand you in good stead for selection for Irish tours further down the line.

"I owe a lot of where I am today for the work that Brķan put into me during those formative years.

"On a personal level, he's a very good guy and since I've been with him from when I was 8 or 9 he's someone who I can trust and talk about my game to. He has such a vast knowledge about the game with all his experience.He's also a very good friend and his wedding was actually the first one I attended!"

(Brian and Andrew Balbirnie)

Well done Breener and here's to shaping the next generation of Leinster and Irish cricketers who will make an impact on the local and global stage.