Former Professional Football Player and Manager Roddy Collins and Bohemians FC Captain Keith Buckley Discuss the Future of Irish Football on New Episode of ‘Under Construction with Chadwicks’ Podcast Series

Chadwicks Group, Ireland’s leading builders’ merchants, is delighted to launch a brand new episode of its ‘Under Construction with Chadwicks’ podcast series today. Now in its fourth season, the latest episode sees host Donncha O’Callaghan chat to former professional football player, manager and qualified plasterer, Roddy Collins as well as Bohemians FC (‘Bohs’) captain, and former tradesperson, Keith Buckley. During the episode, Roddy and Keith talk about everything from their experiences playing in League of Ireland (LOI), the increasing popularity of the game, and Roddy’s experience managing LOI clubs.

Roddy, who played professional football for eighteen years in a number of LOI clubs, including Shamrock Rovers, Bohs, Drogheda United and Dundalk, and went on to manage several of these clubs after retiring, calls on the Irish government to ‘invest more in club facilities’. Referencing Tallaght Stadium, where Shamrock Rovers play their home games, as a ‘benchmark’ for LOI facilities. Roddy also believes that more people need to lobby the government to invest further. Keith, having played with Bohs for over ten years, remarks on how dressing rooms in some clubs have not changed in that time, as an example of how he also feels that LOI club facilities need to be improved.

In 2023, LOI match attendance increased by 20%*, and both Roddy and Keith reflect during the episode on how the popularity of the League of Ireland ‘has never been as good as this’. Talking about the increase, while Donncha feels that it reflects the increasing importance of LOI in local communities, Roddy believes that clubs need to focus more on winning, as that will ‘drive more people in’. Roddy credits the IRFU for increasing the popularity of national rugby, by evolving home games into experiences the whole family can enjoy, something he believes the LOI needs to do more of too. During the episode, he shares stories of how he would often play the role of a ‘pantomime villain’, wearing his pinstripe suits and calling out other managers to drive more attention to matches and increase attendance.

Conversation turns at one point towards Stephen Kenny’s experience managing the Ireland men’s senior national football team, and while Roddy felt that Stephen was strong at attracting talent, he did not do well at ‘game management’. Roddy believes that the most important people on match day are the managers who can spot potential mistakes waiting to happen beforehand, and it’s the smallest mistake, which Donncha agrees from his own experiences playing rugby for Munster and Ireland, that can cost the most.

The episode also revealed that Donncha and Roddy have a connection beyond their experiences playing top level sport, and that Roddy’s grandson was named after the Irish rugby legend! When it comes to what’s next for Roddy and Keith, Keith shares his ambition to eventually manage the Ireland men’s senior football team one day and shares his happiness of having the ability to ‘fall back into the trades’ if he needs to, potentially working again as a painter and decorator. Roddy reveals that he would love to manage a football club again and is considering buying a club in the UK to do so. In the meantime, he looks forward to reliving the pride he felt when his brother, former professional boxer Steve Collins, won the WBO Super Middleweight title against Chris Eubank in Mill Street, Cork almost thirty years ago in a new documentary that premiered last year and is coming soon to Irish cinemas.

To listen to today’s episode and all the episodes released to date from Season 4 of Under Construction with Chadwicks, visit Further episodes of the series will launch in the coming weeks and will also be available to listen to at, as well as on Spotify, Apple, and all podcast streaming services in Ireland.


*According to a League of Ireland 2023 report, linked here: Attendances | League of Ireland

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