Friday, September 23, 2011

From the Archives - O'Kelly and Hereford United

With the news that former coach Richard O'Kelly has been placed on gardening leave by Doncaster, BN looks back to June 2004 just after O'Kelly left Edgar Street for Bournemouth.

Richard O'Kelly has given a long interview to the Non-League Paper in which he admits that leaving Hereford was "a really hard decision because the job at Edgar Street isn't quite finished."

After talking about the past season and that decision to send off Andy Tretton in the play-off game, O'Kelly looks forward and says that he doesn't think that with some people leaving Edgar Street it will mean the break-up of the squad. He takes Chester as an example.

"Chester missed out in the play-offs and then won the league the following season. It will be hard for the Bulls but I think they are more than capable of bouncing back next season and going on to win promotion. The core of the team is still there.

"Hereford will always look for hungry players and I would tell anyone who is looking to get back into the Football League that Edgar Street is the place to come, as you will get a chance.

"Graham runs it like a League club. He picks up a lot of players who have been discarded by clubs higher up and lets them use it as a vehicle to get back into the League.

"The players are given an opportunity to play and show what they can do and, if they leave and move on to better things, then Graham will shake them by the hand and wish them all the best.

"Graham wished me all the best when I told him about the move to Bournemouth, even though he swore a few times when I first told him.

"It was nice to know he thought so highly of me and I have left with his full blessing."

Moving to the South Coast side with its higher standard of facilities will be a bit different for O'Kelly from Edgar Street.

"You used to have to fill in the rabbit holes, mark out the pitch and put the nets up every day. I'm sure that helped the team spirit as everyone mucked in and had a laugh about it.

"That great team spirit allied to the ability within the squad is why I'm tipping Hereford to be as strong next year as they were this season.

"I have given Graham a list of names who could replace me, and he has his own ideas too, so it is a case of watch this space.

"But I'm sure that whoever takes over the role will still have a talented, hard working bunch of players at his disposal and I'm sure they will make an impact next year."