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Neil
17/04/2002, 10:50 PM
Scully shock at Rico departure

Shamrock Rovers defender Pat Scully expressed his "huge shock" and "disappointment" at the decision of the Shamrock Rovers board to let manager Damien Richardson go.

The defender was signed by Richardson last season and he expected to be working with the former Shelbourne manager for another few years. Scully was informed of the dismissal when Richardson phoned him late on Wednesday afternoon.

"It's a big surprise. I'm still shocked about it. It came from nowhere. We had a good season last year, one of the best seasons Rovers have had in a long time. I know we fell away towards the end of it, but we had a few injuries - I was injured.

"Then there was the trouble with the training facilities, moving from Tolka (Park) to Richmond Park and back to Tolka again. We had a better season than Bohemians, Cork City, Derry City and lots of other clubs. There weren't many who thought we do that this year."

The news will have come as a shock to Richardson himself. He spoke to Setanta.com earlier on Wednesday about how he was planning for the new season. "I am going through all the players who are out of contract this week," he said. "I'm also discussing who might be coming in. By the end of the week, I'm hoping to know who's going or who is coming.

"It's a very exciting time in our history. We've got a new ground and there's Uefa Cup football next season."

Rico's contract was due for renewal, but he spoke of upcoming negotiations with confidence. "We will be sitting down and talking about my contract this week. There are no stumbling blocks at the moment."

Scully praised the man who signed him from Shels last summer, saying: "I think Damien is a fantastic manager. It's a real shame and I feel for him. Damien was looking forward to next season. We took a good step last year and we were hoping to do better next year - under Damien.

"We had a meeting with Damien and the whole squad about a week after the end of the season and it was very positive. He did speak about bringing in three or four new faces. He was very positive about where the club was going and he threw down the gauntlet to players, wanting them to prove they could continue to build on what we had. We all got our training programmes from him.

"Like I said, it's a huge shock. He is one of the best managers I have played under and it's no secret the respect I have for him. But I'm just a player and it's not up to me to question the reasons for such decisions. That's up to the board."

A spokesman for Shamrock Rovers said the club could not issue a statement. He neither confirmed or denied the departure of Richardson.

Dermot Keely, who stood down as Shels manager at the end of the season, is being heavily linked with the job.

Rico played for Rovers and Gillingham in England. He also managed Gillingham, as well as Cork City, Cobh Ramblers and Shels.

As a player he won three senior international caps. He was a League of Ireland runner-up in 1968/69, 1969/70 and 1970/71 with Rovers. He was FAI Cup winner in 1968 and 1969. When he moved to Gillingham he scored over 100 goals, helping them to promotion from the old Division Four in 1973/74.

His honours as manager include FAI Cup wins in 1996 and 1997 and League Cup wins in 1995/96, all with Shelbourne. He was runner-up in the Premier Division with Cork City in 1993/94 and with Shels in 1997/98.

by Mark McCadden
setanta.com (http://www.setanta.com/soccer/story.jsp?story=WCContent;id-41144)

√Čanna
18/04/2002, 12:21 PM
we'll take him!

Colm
18/04/2002, 3:16 PM
RICO FOR CITY.....RICO FOR CITY.....RICO FOR CITY.....