Saturday’s 5-4 win for UCD was a thrilling game to watch, though obviously disappointing for Drogheda United . To have been 2-0 down , then to make an amazing comeback and score the next four goals to lead by 4-2, only to be beaten by 5-4 in the end! Yes we were slow out of the blocks, conceding two goals early on, but we managed to dig deep and scored three goals in quick succession. We were cruising and almost queuing up to score and even after scoring the fourth we still had a few good goalscoring chances! For UCD to respond by scoring three more goals was so disappointing for us but we have to learn from this and get back on track for Friday’s home game to Bohemians.
You spent over two years with West Brom. How did it happen that you signed for them? I had been over and back to two other clubs on trial, Blackburn and Reading but West Brom really know how to look after the younger players so I opted to signed for them at 16.They really love their football and they didn’t mind how small I was back then! That said, Reading (and manager Stevie Coppell) were also very keen on me.
You were one of a select number of players signed for The Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain last year. Hoddle was a world class player with Spurs, Chelsea, Monaco and England. Has he been directly involved in developing your career over the past year? Without a doubt Glenn has been the biggest reason why I have improved so much as a player. When I left West Brom I was still very raw. I have learned so much from him especially from his individual coaching with me as a midfielder. The first thing he said me to do was “We will have to muscle you up”. It was Glenn who saw my potential to play in centre-midfield though I needed to toughen up first!
How involved is Glenn Hoddle himself when a club shows interest in signing you or taking you out on loan? Glenn would have the final say as to what club I’d go on loan with or sign for. He only wanted me to go on loan to a Premier Division club in Ireland or League 1 or 2 in England. I have a good profile playing in the top Division here. I see myself as being on the transfer market to hopefully be signed on a permanent deal when the transfer window in England and Scotland opens again in January.
Photo taken by Larry McQuillan
I see that you have your own fan club coming up from Limerick to see you playing very often! Yes with the motorways nowadays it’s only roughly two hours for them to travel up. My family have been great support to me. My Uncle Barry comes to all of my games. My Nana & Grandad travel a lot too while both my parents and my brothers Morgan(16) and Scott(13) all give me fantastic support. My other uncle (Tommy Lynch) has a lot of experience as a player with Shrewsbury Town and Sunderland and as a manager with Waterford Utd (1996-1999).I’m lucky to get such good advice from Barry and Tommy.
You look really fit since you’ve joined Drogheda. You never stop running ! Well that’s down to Glenn Hoddle again as he often says how important it is for a midfielder, to be able to go up and down the pitch, not just for 90 minutes ,but really for120! I feel fresh every time I play.
Where are you staying at the moment? I’m staying along with Scottish born striker, Jordan White, in a house just outside Drogheda. We are very well looked after and we’re loving it here in the town.
How are you settling in at the club? I’m very happy here under Mick and Robbie. I’m really enjoying my football with Drogheda. I like everything about the club and I feel very comfortable here. All in all it’s bringing the very best out of me. All the players get on so well and I’m looking forward to the last part of the season.
The new signings have made a big difference in such a short space of time. The team’s form has improved so much with yourself, Dave Rogers, Gavin Brennan, Peter McMahon and Tiarnán Mulvenna all settling in well! Yeah Mick has been saying all along that it was up to the whole squad to impress him and not the other way round! It was up to everyone to show him that they were good enough to stay. It’s kept everyone on our toes and the competition is bringing the best out in everybody!
Paul Holland has been the Half-Time Co-ordinator at Drogheda United for the past five years and has produced two DVDs for the club in 2006 and 2007. Paul is also the Meath & Leinster Co-ordinator of the hugely popular FAI Schools 5-a-side competition.