Drogheda United have made the surprise appointment of Damien Richardson as their new first team manager. The 66-year-old will be in charge until the end of the current season.
The Louth club have been searching for a new boss since parting company with Robbie Horgan in June following a poor run of results which culminated with a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of bottom side Athlone Town before the midseason break.
Darius Kierans, who was placed in temporary charge as he didn’t possess the necessary coaching badges, will now serve as Richardson’s assistant.
Speaking on the appointment, Drogheda United chairman Jim Agnew expressed his delight at getting Richardson on board as United aim to improve on their league position of eight in the table.
“Damien is someone who will bring the sort of experience and dedication that is required now", said Agnew. "Everyone in the club looks forward to working with him and we feel sure that he and the team will have the full support of the fans until the end of the season."
Agnew also reserved special praise for Kierans who oversaw the Boynesiders’ first league victory against Shamrock Rovers in almost seven years last Friday.
“We are also delighted that Damien has chosen Darius as his assistant. Darius has done a tremendous job over the last number of weeks, culminating in the team’s impressive performance in Tallaght last night, and we are very grateful to him for the hard work and commitment that he has given to the role."
Richardson has history with United having been in charge of Cork City during the FAI Cup and Setanta Cup finals of 2005 and 2006 respectively, losing to Drogheda on both occasions. Despite those painful defeats, the Dubliner did not hesitate in accepting the role.
“I am delighted to become part of Drogheda United. It is a club that holds special memories for me as I made my debut playing for Shamrock Rovers against Drogheda as an 18 year old in the old Lourdes Stadium.”
The former Cork City, Shelbourne and Shamrock Rovers boss has been out of management since 2007 but despite that hiatus he insists that he is as passionate as ever to be involved in the game.
“Although much water has passed under the bridge, it has not diluted my love affair with League of Ireland football."
Richardson’s first match in charge of Drogheda will be against UCD at United Park on Friday.