Drogheda United FC

Interview Conducted by Paul Holland for DUFC v Shamrock Rovers Match Programme - 1st April 2011

Drogheda United talks to Robbie Horgan

Assistant Manager Robbie Horgan enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a goalkeeper with many LOI clubs, including Shamrock Rovers and Drogheda United. As a coach Robbie has completed his UEFA ‘A’ Licence and was Assistant Manager at Sporting Fingal for the past two years.

Firstly well done on a great win on Monday night against Bray in the EA Sports Cup.
Yes we were delighted with the win but it was really an opportunity for many of our fringe players to stake a place in the first team. We welcome the headache of who to pick for tonight’s game. We made nine changes from the Sligo game while Bray only made four.

As a player you enjoyed a long career in the league.
I started out with Rovers in 1986, spent four years here with Drogheda (1988-1992) and then back to Rovers. I also played with Shelbourne, Dublin City, Monaghan Utd (under Mick Cooke) and St. Pat’s.

You finished your career playing for St. Pat’s against Drogheda!
That’s right. It was actually the last game of the season when Drogheda won the league in 2007. Barry Ryan was out and second choice Brendan Clarke got injured in the warm-up but it was nice to keep a clean sheet, especially when I was almost 40!

Your name is in a few History books!
I’m the only player to have played in Milltown and Tallaght Stadium. I’m also the last goalkeeper to have played in Milltown.

You’ve broken the mould by moving away from being a goalkeeping coach
At Pat’s and Fingal I was known as a goalkeeping coach but since doing my badges I’ve moved into coaching the outfield players. I started off managing the ‘A’ Championship team at Sporting Fingal before being promoted to Assistant Manager alongside Liam Buckley. I’ve worked with great managers over the years and I’d like to think that I’ve picked up some good tips from every one of them.

The game has changed a lot since you started playing in 1986. Video analysis
for example.

You will get situations where a player may not understand what a manager is trying to explain verbally to him but when playing back a clip, it can be much clearer.

Ray Treacy used to describe the manager’s job as being similar to an artist painting
a picture.

Ray was always very clear about what he wanted from the players when I was with Rovers. He won a league title with us in 1993/94 at a very difficult time for the club.

What are your memories of playing
with Drogheda?

I have great memories from my time as a player here. The club has a great family-type atmosphere. In my first year we won the First Division title. Then we were relegated but we won the First Division title again in my third year. The club has a great fan base and the fans have been brilliant so far this year. They made a big difference when they got behind the team in the 2-2 draw against Derry. There’s no better place to be when you have a full house for a big match in Hunky Dorys Park.

You’re living in the Navan area now
Yes we moved down here about 5 years ago and live in Robinstown. Our keeper David Quirke comes from Navan and our goalkeeping coach Brendan Kennedy also lives there.

David Quirke has been excellent overall though he was very lucky not to be sent off against Sligo!
Yes David has been great. He is small in stature and Sligo tried to exploit that by firing in high balls from the start but to be fair he was well able to cope. Our reserve keeper was already warming up as we were sure David had gotten a red but hopefully he has learned not to react in those situations. There is great enthusiasm in the side with players like Collie O’Brien grabbing his chance and making things happen.

You know Mick Cooke a long time. You look like you take it in turns to talk to the players during the game.
I think that’s more by accident than by design! Myself and Mick go back a long way. I played under him at Monaghan and always wanted to work alongside him in management. He’s an excellent manager and lets me get on to the coaching and training.

Any interests away from football?
I used to play a lot of golf though my handicap has gone way up since I started doing my coaching badges! I’m kept busy with the family with kids from 3 to 20 years of age!

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