Roddy Collins described yesterday's FAI Cup Final as 'terrible' and 'depressing' on RTE's Today with Sean O'Rourke programme this morning. Collins lambasted the quality of the spectacle and said unless things picked up, this malaise would eventually damage the national team. He also suggested that it proved he should still be manager of Derry City.
It was terrible. The crowd was very poor. The display on the park was very poor.
Collins brought Luton Town manager John Still to the game to help him scout players. Luton are currently second in League Two and Roddy is bullish about their chances of going up.
They’re going to move up another level; they’re going to win the league, and I felt, ‘This is the level where you’re going to get players. And at the end of the game he said to me ... ‘There’s not one of those players would get into my team’. That was disappointing for me, and that’s an expert opinion. So, you know, we’re a little bit deluded.
Roddy has been bemoaning the quality of the League of Ireland for some time, comparing the League circa 2014 unfavourably with the League of a decade ago. He said he is saddened by the state of the League now, saying he brought a professionalism to Irish football, being the first to ever put a professional Irish team on the pitch at Bohs in 2001.
But it’s not until you bring someone in – this is what I see ever week, League of Ireland football – it’s not until you bring someone in from another jurisdiction and sit with them and discuss, beforehand and during; and they go, ‘Rod, they’re not going to get into our team’. And this is a man from the fourth division in England.
That’s disappointing. People have this perception that we have players in our leagues that could walk into Championship clubs.
You get the odd one - there is one kid gone to Hull [Brian Lenihan] – you get the odd one, now and again, but yesterday, for what was on display, I was disappointed and I felt a bit embarrassed, to be honest with you.
Ken Early said the League here would never become a major spectator sport because of the lure of England, but he did dispute Collins' contention that no player developed in the League of Ireland was ever going to play for Ireland, instancing Seamus Coleman as one recent example.
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