Drogs’ duo de­ter­mined to make a big push for pro­mo­tion

Drogheda Independent - - SPORT - MAR­CUS CAVAROLI

THE Drogheda United man­age­ment team’s ‘emo­tional con­nec­tion’ with the club was a key fac­tor in Tim Clancy turn­ing down the op­por­tu­nity to man­age First Di­vi­sion ri­vals Shel­bourne.

Clancy had been tipped to suc­ceed Owen Heary at Tolka Park, where there would be a big­ger bud­get to work with, and more than likely he would have taken Kevin Do­herty with him given that his as­sis­tant had both played for and man­aged Shels pre­vi­ously.

How­ever, they will both now stay with the Drogs for an­other sea­son and make an­other at­tempt to get them back up to the top flight, hav­ing steered them to the play-offs this year.

Clancy was busy talk­ing to play­ers about new con­tracts yes­ter­day (Mon­day) and was un­avail­able for com­ment, but Do­herty re­vealed why they weren’t tempted by a move down the M1.

‘There was def­i­nitely a proper of­fer on the ta­ble [from Shel­bourne], but we de­cided to stay and hope­fully it will prove to be be the right de­ci­sion,’ the as­sis­tant boss com­mented.

‘We speak 10 times ev­ery day and there were a lot of con­ver­sa­tions go­ing on about the pos­si­bil­i­ties, but once the stuff was on the ta­ble and we spoke about what we wanted to do, we de­cided our heart is in Drogheda and that’s where we see our­selves.

‘It’s hard to say too much, but it was hard to walk away and we’re happy here at Drogheda and re­ally want to stay.

‘We are both am­bi­tious and Tim wants to man­age at the top level, and I think he will, and I think there’s been a lot of in­vest­ment at Shel­bourne, but some­times some­thing just feels good and your am­bi­tions and your hap­pi­ness have to be taken to­gether.

‘At the mo­ment we want to be am­bi­tious with Drogheda. Out of loy­alty to the club and play­ers, we do feel a bit of an emo­tional con­nec­tion even though we’ve only been there a year.

There was def­i­nitely a proper of­fer on the ta­ble [from Shel­bourne], but we de­cided to stay and hope­fully it will prove to be be the right de­ci­sion

‘We en­joyed work­ing with the club and the play­ers this year, we had a re­ally good sea­son and we want to do the same again or bet­ter next sea­son.

‘We think we can build on this year, def­i­nitely.’

In terms of putting to­gether a squad for 2019, Do­herty feels that there would be min­i­mal changes, given that the Drogs fin­ished fourth and beat Shel­bourne in the play-offs be­fore los­ing to Finn Harps who sub­se­quently gained pro­mo­tion with a 3-0 ag­gre­gate vic­tory over Lim­er­ick.

‘There’s a lot of dis­cus­sions go­ing on at the mo­ment, al­though we can’t ac­tu­ally sign play­ers un­til De­cem­ber,’ he pointed out.

‘There will be a few changes and we will be look­ing to bring in a cou­ple of play­ers, but part of the rea­son we’re stay­ing is that we’re happy with the play­ers we are al­ready work­ing with and don’t want a mas­sive turnover.

‘We were not a mil­lion miles away this year and it would not make sense to rip it up and start again, but hope­fully we can get a stronger squad to­gether and make up the ground.’

A de­jected Tim Clancy fol­low­ing Drogheda’s de­feat in Bally­bofey.

Drogheda Town cap­tain, Leon Lusha holds the U-12 cup aloft fol­low­ing his side’s win over Rathkenny. Picture: Jimmy Wel­don

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