When Dundalk club legend Gary rogers retired last December you would be forgiven for thinking that at the age of 39 he’s had enough. But when you strip it back and look at the facts, it’s much more complicated than that.
In a recent interview on the LOI podcast,Rogers explained how during Dundalk’s Europa League campaign the players were bemused with the club’s direction off the field,and new contract policy.
Club chairman Bill Hulsizer held a Zoom meeting with the squad before their fixture with Rapid Vienna. The purpose was to apologise for poor communication but the session ended up further adding further confusion to the group.
“We couldn’t understand the strategy last year and it’s more of the same this year,” Rogers says, discussing how owners delayed contract negotiations.
Dundalk then only offered one year deals to players who were interested in staying and lost squad members on account of long term contracts that were available elsewhere.
“You’re performing week in, week out against the odds in Europe and yet the club aren’t prepared to give you a contract for some reason.
“We had Zoom meetings with the chairman before the game in Vienna. The boys spent the whole time talking about the point of the Zoom meeting. Lads were scratching their heads asking what’s going on here.”
“The chairman was apologising for the poor communication. We would find stuff out in the media as opposed to directly from the club.
“It’s a bit like Shane Keegan finding out before the press conference in March of this year he was going to be the manager.
You would see stuff in the paper before we knew it in the dressing room. Stuff like that happened all the time. Communication was really, really poor, it was very frustrating.
“It was certainly part of my reasoning for retiring, I didn’t really want to be there any more. I just felt it wasn’t the same club that I had signed for. It was a strange environment, it wasn’t a really good place, it wasn’t enjoyable. Football has to be enjoyable.
“A lot of lads weren’t enjoying it last year and that has probably seeped through a little bit this year as well. The off the field stuff has remained.”
A sad ending for a club legend who was between the sticks at Oriel Park for five seasons,winning thirteen trophies.