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Herron recalls Eamonn’s ‘magical’ Youth Cup team-talk

23 June 2016

Lee on the power of our Academy Manager’s positivity

Assistant Academy Manager Lee Herron had the privilege of seeing, time and again, the power of Eamonn Dolan’s positive spirit at first hand.

Lee shared an anecdote about how, during half-time in extra-time and on the brink of exiting the FA Youth Cup, Eamonn gave the Under-18 squad a fresh lease of life to ultimately beat Liverpool when few others still believed it possible.

“There were many moments where inspiration and belief was required from a working perspective, and he would deliver that,” said Lee.  “There were many moments where he would rally the troops to get us where we needed to go.

“One of those moments which stands out for me was in our Youth Cup quarter-final against Liverpool – we were 2-0 up, but they equalised in the last minute, and went 4-2 behind in extra-time.  You can only imagine that how that could psychologically affect the players. 

“Then something magical happened in that little break – everyone was down and didn’t believe any more, because they had had it taken away from them.  But the one person that did believe was Eamonn. 

“He gave a speech that would put all the Hollywood sports movies to shame.  We went out and pulled it back and won on penalties. 



“It’s something that a lot of us still speak about quite a lot.  We were privileged to see that.  That was him and that was what he had.  If there was a second left, he still believed.  He believed in the team – and not just the players, but as a group of people. 

“That’s the mentality that we have and maybe that is why our academy thrives.  Hopefully we can help that to live on in his honour.”

Did you leave early that night...?!  Watch that incredible moment below...


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