Dolan, Eamonn

Birth Date

20th September 1967

Birthplace

Galway, Ireland

Occupation

Manager

Biographical Text

A Republic of Ireland Under-21 international (5 caps), Dolan began his career as an apprentice with West Ham United, signing a full contract in March 1985. He played 15 league matches for the Hammers, scoring three goals. Subsequenty, he was signed by Exeter City in September 1991 in a player exchange deal involving Mark Cooper, as part of manager Alan Ball’s team re-building plans and made his debut against Hartlepool United. Sadly, Dolan’s playing career was cut short in April 1993 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Despite his hardship, Dolan continued to serve the Grecians as Football in the Community Officer, Youth Coach, Caretaker Manager, and finally full-time manager, taking over after the club's relegation from the Football League in 2003.By his own admission, Eamo was out of his comfort zone. He'd already forged quite a reputation for his sterling work in the community and improving the Grecians' Academy, but management was not really his game. Coaching was. But in typical Dolan fashion, he took the challenge head on and set about rebuilding the club. He knew it was a long-term project, describing it as "like turning an oil tanker at full speed."

The squad of players he assembled achieved the impossible at Old Trafford in drawing 0-0 in a feat that secured the club's financial future. Without Eamonn's positive drive, commitment and, above all, evident motivational skills in the development of the club's centre of excellence, there is doubt that the Grecians could well have gone the way of so many former league clubs and been consigned to history. Finally, after a successful season in charge of the Grecians, Dolan left in September 2004 to join Reading as an academy manager, where he remained until his death.

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