Saturday 24 February 2018

Richardson relishing his return to life in hot seat

Damien Richardson returned to management with Drogheda united on Saturday
Damien Richardson returned to management with Drogheda united on Saturday

Garry Doyle

After a seven-year itch, Damien Richardson returned to management with Drogheda United on Saturday, insisting he still has a point to prove.

At 66, and out of management since leaving Cork City in 2007, Richardson believed, at one stage, he would be gone from the game for good. Instead, he has been offered an opportunity to come back until the end of this season after the club's preferred options, Liam Kelly and David Jeffrey, turned down the position.

"It is a privilege to be back in football," said Richardson (above), "because no matter what you have done, you always have something to prove. For me, it is to show people that at 66, I am still capable of recognising how the game is evolving and how players are evolving too.

"I like the idea of being able to go out to work with a new generation of people, a generation with different trains of thought and different personalities to their predecessors. And I want to help those players become better.

"This offer suits me. On three or four occasions in the last number of years, there were opportunities to get back into football but they didn't appeal. This does. The aim is to retain our Premier Division status and there is an excitement attached to that challenge.

"Plus, for me, there is the challenge of proving I can still do a fine job. At times, I thought that I might have been out of the job for good, but luckily enough I never lost sight of the fact that you get a passion in the dressing-room that never fails to excite. So when the offer came, my initial thought was, 'no, I don't want it'. Then I asked myself, why not? Why can't I go back? So here I am."

How long he stays at Drogheda remains an unanswered question. His contract is until the end of this season when it is expected the board will approach Kelly once again. However a successful run under Richardson could persuade Drogheda to reconsider their position.

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