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Damian Richardson is an Irish football manager and former player. He is currently in his second spell as manager of Cork City and formerly managed Gillingham in England and Cobh Ramblers, Shelbourne and Shamrock Rovers in Ireland.
As a player Richardson's career was divided between Shamrock Rovers and Gillingham. He received the first of two international caps while at Shamrock Rovers before moving to then English 4th Division side Gillingham at 25. He played for the Priestfield Stadium side for the next nine years before being released in 1981. During his time there he scored 100 goals.
Richardson's managerial career began in 1989 where he managed Gillingham, having previously served as the club's youth team manager. A rather lacklustre career there ended in 1992 where he returned to Ireland in 1993 to manage Cork City He proved an instant success bringing the club within striking distance of its first ever league title. However, after 18 months he left the club after a dispute with then chairman Pat O'Donovan.
Following Cork City, he moved on another Cork side Cobh Ramblers before taking up the management position at Shelbourne. To date his time at Shelbourne has been the most successful of his management career with two Cup successes (1996/97 and 1997/98), one League Cup (1995/96) and a runner up position in the League (1997/98) in three seasons. His inability to win the league ultimately cost him his job.
Not finding himself short of suitors for his management ability, he moved across Dublin to his old club Shamrock Rovers. His tenure there proved to be frustrating as his three seasons at the helm were trophyless. Ultimately, Richardson and club chairman Joe Colwell disagreed on the direction of the club, and parted ways. Cowell wanted to focus on building a new stadium for the club, while Richardson wanted to focus on a full-time panel of players.
In 2002, Richardson left football management to become a TV soccer pundit with TV3 in Ireland.
Dramatically in 2005 Richardson returned to League of Ireland management when Cork City's manager Pat Dolan was surprisingly sacked before the start of pre-season friendlies. Cork City Chairman Brian Lennox signed the 57 year old Richardson to a two year contract at Turners Cross 15 days before the first competitive match of the season. Richardson commented that the Cork City job was the only one that could have brought him back to League of Ireland management. "Even before I went to Cork in 1993 I always thought there was enormous potential at the club." Irish Examiner In his first season in charge Cork City were crowned Eircom League Champions for the second time in the clubs history. Cork City also got to the final of the FAI Cup but were defeated by Drogheda United in the final at Lansdowne Road.
As well as his talents as a player and manager Richardson is noted for his eloquence. Despite a certain cavalier attitude to the English language, whereby he coins words and phrases as he likes, there is a certain zen in his observations on soccer, and life in general.
"Modern football is akin to a turbulent sea. Changes come fast and furious. One may be riding the crest of great waves before being engulfed in enormous crescendos of confusion. Sometimes is can be like surfboarding in the South Atlantic. You do the best you can to stay afloat while all the time fully understanding the fact that things can come crashing down around you. If you worry about the consequences you miss the thrill of the ride." D. Richardson, City Edition Vol 22 Issue 1 p.7
"The fundamental inability to grasp the fact that real leadership is accepting that you are merely another cog in the wheel has derailed many careers and deranged many managers." D. Richardson, City Edition Vol 22 Issue 3 p.5
"Football ... is a ballet of wondrous beauty choreographed by highly skilled performers, dramatising the conflict between good and evil that takes place in every heart. And, at the same time it reflects the impatient immediacy of modern society in that success breeds immortality, while the procurement of second place begets anonymity." D. Richardson, City Edition Vol 22 Issue 12 p.5
Damien once played the bodhran on an album by Doug Hudson, a folk musician who also serves as Gillingham's tannoy announcer
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