“Energy, Drive And Passion” Is The Roddy Collins Formula For Success

18 March 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

“I hope you’re clapping like that at the end of the season,” Roddy Collins, pinstripe-resplendent in one of Louis Copeland’s finest, said to the Monaghan United supporters of the ovation they afforded him as he entered the crowded upstairs room of the Westenra Hotel on Friday afternoon for his first press conference as Monaghan United manager, just hours before he took charge of the side for the first time for their opening match of the 2011 Airtricity First Division season at a snow-swept Gortakeegan.
“We’ll give you to tonight,” one of the quick-witted partisans shot back.
It was an amusing, break-the-ice moment, but one weighted with the expectation attendant to his appointment, and the future ambitions of a club that came within a penalty-kick of promotion to the Premier Division in 2010 and have invested heavily in the infrastructure attendant to a place at the Irish game’s top table.
Agonisingly missing out on victory in their promotion/relegation play-off with Bray Wanderers and experiencing two unprecedented Cup runs was followed for Monaghan United by a turbulent pre-season in which they were granted, then denied, a Premier place by the FAI licensing imbroglio. This was followed by the potentially destabilising aftershock of the eve-of-season departure of long-time manager Mick Cooke for Drogheda United.
The club could have been forgiven for selecting a low-visibility, safe-pair-of-hands personality as the custodian to guide them into the 2011 campaign.
Instead they opted for a mercurial media magnet whose personality guarantees the club the sort of media profile that First Division dwellers don’t normally command among the national scribes. Precious publicity capital undoubtedly, but coinage that is notoriously two-headed in nature.
But Robbie Collins is much more than just good copy. His powerhouse style earned him a distinguished playing career, and a double-winning stint at the helm of Bohemians in 2002 glows as the stand-out feature of a managerial CV that is otherwise somewhat chequered in appearance.
And Collins was emphatic in his desire to succeed in his new role. He promised “energy, drive and a passion that is unquenchable to take this club forward”, told the fans they would be on the edge of their seats watching an attack-oriented United side, and cited the honesty and integrity imbued in the club’s administrative structure – as well as the influence of one of his predecessors in the role, personal friend Billy Bagster – as the determining factors in his decision to make Gortakeegan the base from which to launch his rebirth in management.
Monaghan Town Council Cathaoirleach Robbie Gallagher and Monaghan Chamber of Commerce President Gordon Fleming were present to greet the ebullient Dubliner on his first appearance in the local spotlight.
Welcoming everyone present to the Westenra Hotel, Monaghan United Chairman Jim McGlone described Monaghan United’s 2010 season as probably the most successful in the history of the club, when they were very unfortunate to miss out on promotion. After that the club actually found themselves in the Premier Division for a day or two and then out of it again following Galway United’s successful appeal against their initiation demotion from the division as a result of the FAI Licensing Committee decision.
Shortly before the start of the new season the club experienced the misfortune of their manager Mick Cooke deciding to move on, but while this created a difficult situation for United they had to get up and get on with things, and they had gone out and located their new manager Roddy Collins and appointed Aidan Lynch as his assistant.
Mr McGlone said he knew both men would do a good job. What Aidan did last season for the club was exceptional, and he deserved a lot of credit for it.
“The Premier Division is very important, not only to Monaghan United but to the town,” the Chairman emphasised. He said the big clubs would bring people and business to Monaghan, and it was very important for United to try to get to the top division. “We have spent a lot of years investing the money to try to develop the facilities at Gortakeegan, and we now have to push on and try to bring things forward.”
This was the purpose of Roddy Collins coming on board. He had been very successful as a player and manager both in this country, the North, England and in Malta. Mr McGlone said he knew Roddy would be a strong personality in the dressing room, and would bring the best out of their players.
Addressing the fans and media, Monaghan United’s new manager thanked everyone for turning out in such numbers on what was a horrible day. He paid tribute to the United Chairman for the enthusiasm and honesty he had displayed when they met in Dublin to discuss the managerial position. “I think I have met the right man,” he remarked.
From a football point of view he had been starved of management for six-and-a-half years now, and although he had spent a short spell in the media his ambition and desire to be a top-class manager had never left him.
“I have an energy, drive and passion that is unquenchable to take this club forward,” Collins stated.
He wanted to work with Aidan Lynch to bring the club forward and make it a fantastic season.
The new boss described the experience of being back in management as “unbelievable”. “People might find it hard to believe, but I couldn’t sleep last night with excitement and anticipation,” he stated.
He pledged to bring “honesty and 100% hard work” to the role, and guaranteed that he would get the best out of the players. He didn’t deal in sentiment – the most important thing for him was Monaghan United Football Club.
“I hope I will not let you down – it will not be for the lack of effort and hard work. I am bursting for this job.”
Assistant Manager Aidan Lynch said they were entering into a very exciting time for the club. The last couple of weeks had been difficult but they were now moving forward and Roddy Collins as manager would bring a lot of experience that could only be good for the club.
“Last season was a good season, but not good enough, and we will all work hard and do the best we can. It is all about promotion this year.”

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