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Unexpected new lease of life for Robbie Horgan at NEFL leaders

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Current Trim Celtic manager Robbie Horgan.

Current Trim Celtic manager Robbie Horgan.

Current Trim Celtic manager Robbie Horgan.

droghedaindependent

THREE years on from a bout of sepsis which almost cost him his life, former Drogheda Town and Drogheda United manager Robbie Horgan is riding high in the North East Football League with current Premier Division pace-setters Trim Celtic.

Horgan was coaxed back into football by the then Trim Celtic manager and Drogheda native Alan Murphy, who approached him to come on board and do some coaching last season.

And following Murphy’s departure to Termonfeckin Celtic, Horgan - who also lined out for Drogheda United from 1988 to 1992 during a successful League of Ireland playing career - has stepped in to steer the ship.

“Initially it was just to get me out of the house for a few hours and give a dig-out,” said the former goalkeeper.

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“After my illness I didn’t think that I would ever get back to football, and to be honest I expected to be doing the same again this season.

“But it’s been fantastic. It’s nice to get the goo again for football. They are a great bunch of lads, we’re unbeaten in the league, in the semi-final of the Kilmessan Shield and into the last 16 of the Challenge Cup.”

Indeed, Trim have only lost once this calendar year, that coming in the Leinster Junior Cup quarter-finals.

Having that cup run in the Leinster Junior competition proved to be a major benefit and Trim went into the start of this season streets ahead of their opponents in terms of match fitness and sharpness, but Horgan admits that the last month has seen that gap close and they have had a lot of 3-2 victories, when clean sheets were the order of the day earlier in the season.

While Trim are cruising at present, Horgan is well aware of what can happen. A costly 3-0 defeat at home to Muirhevnamor just before last Christmas saw their hopes of retaining the Premier Division title fade and they would eventually finish the campaign behind the Dundalk side with a three-point gap.

So Horgan knows how much concentration will be required for the second half of the season.

Nevertheless, they hold a five-point advantage over Kentstown Rovers with a game in hand and Horgan feels success on all three fronts is achievable. This is especially true as they knocked Kentstown Rovers out of the Challenge Cup in the second round, a game which could have easily been a final.

“The lads will have learned a lot from last year. It’s nearly the same squad with one or two addititions, so the league is in our hands and we know what we have to do, and we have a chance to do something special with the two other cups as well.”


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