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Collins: Public are deluded about standard of domestic football

Collins called yesterday’s FAI Cup final embarrassing.

Just over 17,000 watched Pat's win the cup yesterday.
Just over 17,000 watched Pat's win the cup yesterday.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE STANDARD OF domestic football in Ireland is embarrassing and the public are deluded about it, according to former Derry City manager Roddy Collins.

Collins was speaking on Today with Seán O’Rourke this morning about yesterday’s FAI Cup final.

“It was a terrible affair, the crowd was very poor, the display on the park was very poor,” he said of the game.

Collins said he brought John Still, the manager of Luton Town, over to see the game as he was looking for players. Still was not at all impressed by the standard however.

“I thought this was the level where he could get players and at the end of the game he said to me ‘not one of those players would get into my team’.

“It’s [the standard of domestic football] gone down in my estimation. It’s not until you sit and watch it and discuss it with someone from a different jurisdiction that you realise. And this is a man from the fourth division in England.”

Collins, who has managed seven League of Ireland teams as well as Carlisle United, is disappointed at the lack of quality and says that the Irish public are deluded about the standard of football in this country.

“We’re a little bit deluded. It’s disappointing because I’ve been involved in it for 30 years.

“People over here have the perception that we have players that could walk into championship clubs. You get the odd one, there’s one kid gone to Hull [Brian Lenihan]. But what was on display yesterday I was disappointed and a little bit embarrassed to be honest with you.”

Collins pointed to the poor facilities at many League of Ireland grounds and says that a leaf should be taken from the books of rugby and the GAA in Ireland.

“Some of the facilities are dreadful. I’ve been to clubs, and I’ve been managing for 30 years, and the same tiles and that and the same problems are still there.”

“There was a club last week, and I won’t name them, who had one of the most important games in their recent history coming up, and they trained in the dark. The floodlights went off because they had no diesel in the tank. I mean that’s scandalous. ”

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