Sunday, September 26, 2010

Darren Quigley Interview

Darren, Fingal shocked the League last year with a unique double, how did it feel to win the play-offs and the FAI Cup within a month of each other?

With the squad we had we knew within ourselves that finishing third was an underachievement. However, when it really mattered we were the better team in the play offs against both Shels and Bray. Looking back at the cup I'd say that two nil down at half time at home to Rovers in the quarters, not in great shape in the league, our season was looking like a big disaster. We showed great fight and determination to turn our season right round into a very successful one with the massive bonus of European football.

At the start of the year what do you think were the clubs goals and your own personal ones?

Liam put together a squad he thought was capable to mount a serious title challenge. He did. We have 13 draws to date and I'd say 85% of them draws have been from a winning position so we hit the detonator button to our league chances ourselves, nobody else to blame. I think European football would be a successful season for Fingal without doubt. Personally, my own goals were to stop some silly errors I had made towards the end of the First Division run in. The Shels game at home, 2-0 up I made a howler and we drew 2-2. Fortunately the others I remember, Finn Harps at home and Limerick away we were winning 4-0 in the dying minutes when I gave silly goals away. After winning the cup I wanted to be playing good enough to enjoy the European football. Unfortunately, when I got injured Brendan took his chance with both hands literally!

Were you surprised when Chris O’Connor could have won his team promotion but instead made a huge error and cost his team the win?

It was a great finish wasn't it! I think had Chris kicked the ball long the ref would have blown up. I would have been rightly shocked had they got the aggregate equaliser!!

How did it feel to win the League Cup with Derry?

I broke my wrist in Derry after the second league game and only featured twice competively after injury. Gerard Doherty was in great form and for my money himself and Alan Mannus are far and away the best keepers playing in Ireland at present. One of my games after injury was the semi final off the league cup so I played some part at least, but any footballer will tell you that it's not nice watching a cup final from the bench. The City fans made it a wee bit easier with the form they were in that night!

When you played against the Irish Senior Team how did it feel to come close to drawing with a team of Premiership and fully pro players?

It did not dawn on me at all. I played in the 21's with most of them, I was at Man City with Kieran Westwood, played schoolboy football at joeys with Paul McShane and one or two others I'd played against in the LOI.

How does it feel to play in the Europa League?

I don't know! Maybe next year ask me. Madeira was great though thanks for asking!

What sort of differences are there between playing internationally (For the u-23’s) and domestically (in the LoI)?

With the 23s we played England this year so the style of football wasn't different. There wasn't a massive crowd like we got at Turners Cross for 21s games so atmosphere was not different to most LOI grounds. I didn't feel any difference at all actually. When you play teams further into Europe, then the game is slow when they have the ball in their half but tempo is right up attacking your own defensive third.

The show’s original team attended the Shelbourne game in the Leinster Senior Cup this year, were you angry at those fans at that who were giving you dog’s abuse?

Not at all. It was hardly dog’s abuse, a few kids or few clueless people jumping on the bandwagon. I have no regrets at all. Bisto got sent off for pushing me in the play-offs and as for the shouts regarding financial difficulty at Derry City, can Shelbourne fans really look beyond their own club?

On the subject, do you think fans can go really far over the top to often in their attack on teams/players?

No, I actually think its dying out of the game and the craic is badly needed. Obviously fans can shout and shout. It's all part of football and the excitement of going to a game. But when a player who takes abuse for 89 minutes, scores the winner and runs to his abusers, that's what it's all about. It adds to the atmosphere, people are fired up and chant more. The Gary Twigg thing is prime example. Another thing we had to copy from the FA like the Adebayor versus Arsenal fans incident. Let it be, it's only a game and let people and players enjoy it.

You Played for Manchester City at one point, did you like it there?

I was/am a City fan so it was fantastic to sign for them. However, another broken arm story and homesickness set in I felt coming home was best for me at the time. Had I the chance to do it all again I'd probably have liked to go back to Everton but I was chasing the dream back then!

What sort of pace is the game played in Europe as opposed to playing in LoI football. How much tougher is it?

Again any European football I have played has all been high tempo attacks in your defensive half and they slowly build from the back. Patiently waiting to pick you off.

Our left back Lorcan Fitzgerald doesn't really know much about tactics so he just ran and got lost, found himself in the Maritimo box and miss hit a shot into the net for a crucial away goal!

Did you enjoy playing at the Brandywell with Derry City?

City fans were great. The best there is. Everybody has their own opinions of who they'd like to see playing but no matter what 11 Stephen picked, the fans are always right behind you. Some clubs fans you hear getting on their on players backs but I have to say there is a great positivity about playing for Derry and the fans.

When you joined Fingal, were you disappointed and are you still disappointed with their small fan base?

No, I know the hard work the club put in and it is a slow process to build a fan base. It was sad to see in Drogheda the other night maybe only 400 fans where as two years ago they were hitting 4000 each week. I can see in only my second season at Fingal, away support has greatly improved and the guys going to away games are the backbone to building your home support around. People that don't want to miss a match, too many people think that the cold wind has teeth! It doesn't bite!

And finally, do you reckon if you keep progressing, you can eventually win an Ireland call-up?

I am realistic enough to know the possibilities of that ever happening. Having said that, I never thought I'd see the day Fingal played a 4-4-2 so as we all know, anything can happen in football. The future is bright with Given and Westwood for now.

We would like to thank Darren for his time as we all know his schedule with Fingal is very busy and we would like to thank Donagh Corby for the questions

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