Final loss can spur Drogs - Richardson
HIS own CV shows that for Damien Richardson there is something special attached to the FAI Cup.
At 67 he is the oldest manager in the league. His record after a lifetime in football shows that 'Rico' has just one league triumph to show for his efforts, when he managed Cork City to a Premier Division title success in 2005. But Richardson (pictured, below) has won the FAI Cup five times, twice as a player with Shamrock Rovers and three more successes as a coach.
His current club, Drogheda United, came close to winning the trophy last season when they lost in the final but now he's on the FAI Cup trail again, with Derry City standing between the Drogs and a place in the last four.
The trophy means a lot to the former Ireland international. "Shamrock Rovers, they were the cup specialists and when I joined them I was amazed to see that the club came alive on Cup week," he says. "We were always doing well in the league but we never won the league when I was there.
"But when the Cup came around, everyone was a different person. That was inbuilt in me. In my first Cup final with Rovers, we were beaten by Drums, and that was a great source of frustration to me as Rovers were not supposed to lose Cup finals.
"Then I lost a couple of Cup finals - one at Shelbourne and one at Cork City - and that wasn't nice. I have been in lots of Cup finals but the memories I have are of the ones I lost," added Richardson, hoping to take this Drogheda side back to the final stage.
"It would be great for the club to get back there. A good Cup run brings attention and confidence."
Richardson wasn't at the club last season when they lost that final but he feels the game will be a factor for the survivors from that United side. "There is nothing worse than losing a Cup final, particularly when you play well," he says.
"And they played so well in the Cup final last season. I remember it as I was co-commentator with George Hamilton on TV.
"When you lose a Cup final, the incentive is there to come back as you don't want to repeat that. There is no greater incentive than winning it as Sligo have shown over the last few years, as Shamrock Rovers showed down the years, but losing it is a great sense of motivation.
"But that won't help us get through this game tonight, it will still come down to what happens on the night."