Season 1 – Holidayed
Wanted to start career in Ireland, but decided to wait for a job to be available rather than simply selecting a club at the start, so holidayed until offered a job in the League of Ireland First Division.
Kildare County did start managerless but they decided to seek someone other than me for the role. Not that I minded in the end, they ended the season drawing just once and losing their other thirty-two league games, whilst recording a goal difference of minus one hundred and four. Perhaps unsurprisingly they lost the relegation play-off to Cobh Ramblers (albeit only on penalties) and went down.
With little managerial movement no opportunities became available in the LoI First Division so the season was spent unemployed and on holiday.
Season 2 – Waterford United, League of Ireland First Division
A job offer finally came along in May 2010 when Waterford United parted ways with their manager. Having been defeated in the promotion play-off last season they were expected to be challenging at the top end of the table.
League of Ireland First Division
Just over twelve games played and a third of the season in however they had won just three matches and drawn once to be sitting in eleventh place just a point above bottom placed Cobh Ramblers.
Despite the poor position to join the club in and defeats in my first two league games we were able to go on a run which saw us move rapidly up the table getting us at one point as close as three points to the play-offs, during which a left-winger who seems to be pissed off at the Stockport County manager for constantly praising him and a Liverpool reject both particularly impressed.
Poor form in September and October saw play-off hopes extinguished. However given the position that the club had been in in May the eventual fifth place finish was satisfactory enough.
1st U.C.D. W 18 D 8 L 7 F 50 Ag 23 GD +27 Pts 62
3rd Shelbourne W 18 D 6 L 9 F 43 Ag 29 GD +14 Pts 60
4th Longford W 16 D 9 L 8 F 50 Ag 33 GD +17 Pts 57
5th Waterford Utd W 14 D 5 L 14 F 48 Ag 47 GD +1 Pts 47
6th Limerick W 13 D 8 L 12 F 42 Ag 44 GD -2 Pts 47
A goal late in extra-time when down to ten men against Limerick saw us achieve saw some minor success in winning the Munster Senior Cup. A run in the FAI Cup saw Waterford make the quarter-finals, given my previous in Ireland however it should be no surprise that the quarter-final resulted in a 3-1 win for Drog-fucking-heda United. An extra-time defeat in the second round of the League Cup against Finn Harps came towards the end of my predecessor’s time in charge.
FAI Cup – Quarter-final, Drog-fucking-heda United 1-3 (A)
LoI Cup – 2nd round, Finn Harps 2-3 aet (H)
Munster Senior Cup – Winners, Limerick 3-2 aet
Season 3 – Waterford United, League of Ireland First Division
As with last season the media predicted a third place finish whilst the board were looking to the play-offs. Having improved the squad with a number of exciting signings I however felt confident and stated promotion as the aim.
Despite being unbeaten in the opening four matches and among the early pacesetters, our promotion ambitions suffered a huge blow when Liverpool reject tore his calf muscle in a League Cup defeat against Cork City. The injury itself kept him out for four months, and a lengthy spell once recovered getting back to match fitness effectively saw his season ended after just five matches.
With him out and others struggling to replace him as a playmaker form proved to be inconsistent over the next couple of months. Despite this though we always managed to remained well within the play-off race. Eventually a former Celtic youth player was able to fill Liverpool reject’s boots and we were again a serious contender within the play-off race.
A habit of losing games which should’ve been victories, and Drog-fucking-heda United always being just a couple of points behind us but with games in hand however meant we were never comfortably in the play-off positions.
The race for the play-offs though managed to go right to the wire. Going into the play-offs we were in fifth, two places outside the play-off spots, but just two points off it. Also in our favour was that Shelbourne and Finn Harps (both in the two play-off positions, level on points and two points ahead of us) were playing each other, meaning a victory for either would allow us to pass one. Also standing between us and the play-off were Drog-fucking-head, themselves also two points ahead of us.
For us, a win was needed, and we were able to do that much, defeating Wexford Youths 1-0 away. It wasn’t to be enough however, as a 0-0 draw for Drog-fucking-heda away to Bray Wanderers meant that they finished level on points with us, but with a goal difference one better than us, and in the final play-off place one position ahead of us.
Annoyingly they went on to lose the play-off to Shelbourne (who in turn went on to lose the relegation/promotion play-off to Premier Division St. Pat’s Athletic) meaning they’ll probably do the same to us next season!
Cups sucked arse, fell at the first hurdle in each one.
1st Longford Town W 18 D 8 L 7 F 48 Ag 29 GD +19 Pts 62
2nd Shelbourne W 16 D 7 L 10 F 48 Ag 30 GD +18 Pts 55
3rd Drogheda Utd W14 D 11 L 8 F 47 Ag 37 GD +10 Pts 53
4th Waterford Utd W 16 D 5 L 12 F 47 Ag 38 GD +9 Pts 53
5th Finn Harps W 15 D 7 L 11 F 37 Ag 33 GD +4 Pts 52
FAI Cup – 2nd round, Dundalk 0-2 (A)
LoI Cup – 1st round, Cork City 1-3 (H)
Munster Senior Cup – 1st round, Cork City 0-3 (H)