View Full Version : Paul Doolin interview

05/09/2001, 8:14 AM
New UCD manager Paul Doolin admits he was surprised by previous incumbent Martin Moran’s decision to step down, but is nonetheless relishing the challenge.

Work commitments forced Moran to resign from his post and he oversaw his final match as manager last Thursday when the students held St. Patrick’s Athletic to a 0-0 draw.

"When I signed as a player during the summer," explains Doolin, who has a contract for two years, "I knew Martin was thinking about leaving, but I thought it would be further down the road. Nevertheless, I’m ready and looking forward to it. I took a lot of the training session when Martin was absent, so in some ways it’s not going to be a huge change."

Doolin’s first match in charge will come next Sunday, when UCD visit Monaghan United in a match many are already billing as a relegation battle.

"That’s a bit unfair to be honest," opines Doolin. "With only three games gone, I don’t know how anyone can say exactly how the season’s going to go. I mean, who would have thought Cork would be without a win so far? I’ve seen a lot of matches already this season and I’ve seen some teams play in such a way that if ourselves or Galway or Monaghan played like that, they’d say we’re going straight down. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or two of the big clubs dragged into the relegation zone."

The former Shels, Bohs, and Dundalk player admits, though, that UCD’s primary objective for the season is survival, particularly since next season will see the Premier League cut from twelve to ten clubs, meaning three teams will be relegated this term and a fourth have to go through a play-off to stay in the top flight.

"From that point of view, it’s an unlucky time to take the job, and also unlucky on Monaghan who’ve only just been promoted. I’m not blind to the fact that mine is a tough job - let’s be honest, we’re not going to win the league. So our top aim is undoubtedly to stay up, and maybe have a good cup run too," says the man who holds a record number of FAI Cup winners medals.

The size of the task facing Doolin was rammed home two weeks ago, when UCD were mauled 6-0 by Bohemians.

"Okay, it was Dalymount, home of the League Champions, but I have to admit I wasn’t expecting that. We were bad that day, but I’ve lost to Bohs before with better team than UCD so I’m not getting too downcast. Besides, we haven’t made a terrible start - one win, two draws, and a defeat is reasonable enough, certainly not the worst."

Doolin’s experience could prove of great value to UCD’s young players, but the peculiarity of the club and of this season’s championship poses particular difficulties for the manager. "It’s hard to get into a routine", he explains. "Playing on a Thursday evening one week, then on a Sunday afternoon, then a Friday night the next week, requires a lot of thinking ahead, more so then with clubs where everyone is full-time and coming in for training all the time anyway."

So given the club’s modest resources, how does Doolin intend to raise fortunes on the field?

"I’ll be trying to pass on a bit of what I’ve picked up over the years as a player. One of the things I’ll also be trying to do maybe is working on the mentality a bit. Some of the lads tended to see football as a bit of a social thing, but, though they’re not full time, they’re getting paid so they have to act like they’re full-time professionals and, in fairness to them, they’ve been very responsive in training".

"The fact that we can’t buy many players is another factor to our disadvantage. But we’ve brought in Richie Purdy and Greg O’Dowd, who’ve both done well so far, and maybe we could bring in one more player - but we have to be careful to make sure it’s the right player and in the right position."

For UCD this season, the right position means 7th in the table.

>from ireland.com

05/09/2001, 9:40 AM
But we’ve brought in Richie Purdy and Greg O’Dowd, who’ve both done well so far.

What games has he been watching? Greg O’Dowd:( has been terrible in all 4 games so far. Purdy has done well though (apart from all those yellows).

For UCD this season, the right position means 7th in the table.

I'd still be happy with 8th!