Tuesday 23 April 2019

Roddys plea to Drogheda fans

CONSULTING ROLE . . . Roddy Collins began work at United Park this week
CONSULTING ROLE . . . Roddy Collins began work at United Park this week

By Marcus Cavaroli RODDY Collins this week made an emotional appeal to the public of Drogheda, asking them to show him they care about Drogheda United.

His plea came as he arrived at United Park on Monday for his first day with the club.

Collins has been taken on as a consultant to examine every aspect of the club. At the end of four weeks he is due to make a report and recommendations to the Board, who will then decide whether Collins’ takeover can go ahead.

But this week the former Bohemians boss indicated that the Drogheda United Board would have their report much sooner – and he promised no stone would be left unturned.

‘It will not take me four weeks,’ he told the Drogheda Independent. ‘I’ll know what needs doing in two.

‘The first priority is to see what the club needs, where it needs to be improved.

‘One of the most important things, and I’m stressing this, is that I want to see whether there is a desire in the town for a successful team. Is there an interest from soccer supporters, and is there commercial interest in the town? If there isn’t, then there’s no point.

‘There were gates of 800 at Bohemians when I took over and 3,000 when I left, and that’s what I want to achieve with Drogheda.

‘I intend to speak to all the sponsors and creditors, and I have already spoken to eight potential new players who have played at a higher level, and every one of them has said he wants to come to Drogheda.

‘I will be checking the pitch, the ground and I’ve looked at the lads in training and had two or three meetings with the manager Harry McCue.

‘We need a good team, a good pitch and a good attitude in the club, but the most important thing is the team. If you get that right and the backroom staff right, you go from there.

‘My report will be truthful. There will be a lot of people upset, but I’m not coming to Drogheda to win any popularity contests. Nor am I coming to make any enemies.

‘I want to see a full-time professional club which will attract people back. Other than that, personalities and egos don’t mean anything to me.

‘It’s all about win, win, win.’

It’s not yet clear who are the other members of the Collins consortium bidding to take over the club, and the Drogheda United Board have said they would want to keep a minority shareholding if the deal went through.

Collins and McCue met over the weekend, renewing a friendship going back some 30 years.

‘I played alongside Roddy when we were at Dundalk,’ McCue recalled this week. ‘I’ve known him quite well since we were teenagers.

‘His role is advisory and we’ve spoken about players who have gone through his hands. He’s good, a flamboyant character. He wants to get things done.

‘It’s a different sort of situation for him. He has managed a team in the Premier Division, and when he wanted a player he went out and got him. Drogheda United is a different end of the scale, and I am putting things in perspective for him.’

Meanwhile, a number of trialists are being selected for Drogheda United’s first game of the season, a practice game against St Mochtas at Clonsilla on Saturday, kick-off 7pm.