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'Filthy dirty' jerseys the final straw for departed Cobh Ramblers boss Henderson

Stephen Henderson recently stepped down from the helm of the First Division outfit.

Departed Cobh boss Stephen Henderson.
Departed Cobh boss Stephen Henderson.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

DEPARTED COBH RAMBLERS manager Stephen Henderson has opened up on the details surrounding his recent exit from the club, outlining mounting frustrations and the final straw which resulted in his resignation.

The twice-appointed boss stepped down after Cobh’s 2-1 home victory over Galway United in the SSE Airtricity League First Division two weeks ago, but says it was a jersey mix-up in a game prior to that which sent him over the edge.

A home clash against Bray Wanderers at the end of May nearly saw his players forced to wear a dirty set of jerseys, and that was Henderson’s decision made.

“We had no gear,” he told the RTÉ Soccer Podcast. “Our last two strips were still in a bag, filthy dirty. We found 14 jerseys from our third kit. We had to break open a press to find more gear for them. It was that, that was it then. I made up my mind.”

The 2007 League of Ireland First Division and 2016 Munster Cup-winning manager discussed the good days of course, but ultimately the bad outweighed the good.

He told another story of how, ahead of this year’s league opener against Drogheda United in Louth, the team bus broke down time and time again on the long journey to United Park.

We stopped counting after 15,” Henderson explained. ”It broke down 15 times. It was an absolutely beautiful coach on the inside. We got there at half seven.

While those incidents were obviously hugely frustrating, deeper problems with the club’s board were the real issue for the former Cobh player and manager between 2004 and 2008, and 2015 and 2019.

“Both myself & the committee knew we did not compliment each other & this happens all the time in football,” as he tweeted after resigning.

Screenshot 2019-06-24 at 15.43.10 Source: Stephen Henderson Twitter.

And he spoke about that further on the podcast:

“Between playing and managing them twice I spent 11 years there. We said, ‘Look, let’s go in here and see if we can put a plan in place that will make the club financially sound, structurally sound for the coming years, that we don’t have to worry about’.

“The first two or three years there were really difficult because we were going out meeting people we owed money to and we were asking them, ‘Can you take a cut on this?’. In fairness, most of them were fantastic with us. We had a huge debt and we got it right down.

“It is really difficult but when you put your structures in place and you learn from your mistakes, then you have a chance. All League of Ireland clubs have a chance.

They changed things. A new committee came in and said, ‘No that’s not the way we want to go’, and I said, ‘Fine’. 

“A series of other things happened that brought me back three years to when I went in first. I just thought, ‘I’m not doing this again’.”

Henderson added on his exit: “I was gutted. I put my heart and soul into there. We done an awful lot of work in terms of trying to get debt down, trying to give credibility back to the football club, trying to make the club competitive on the pitch.

I loved every minute of it. I loved all the players involved. I loved the fact that we were the underdogs.

“There’s a new crew in there. They have their own way of doing things and I do genuinely wish them every success with it. I just want that club to be successful and I want them players to have as much success as they can.”

You can listen to the full interview here:


Source: RTĖ Sport/SoundCloud

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Emma Duffy

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