Return of the Rod Squad
In 2003, the four-part documentary series The Rod Squad followed the adventures of Irish football manager Roddy Collins at the helm of English club, Carlisle United. The story ended in tears but the documentary series was warmly received and won an IFTA award later that year.
Ten years later, the sequel was finally filmed, as Return Of The Rod Squad picks up Roddy's story on this side of the Irish Sea in a four-part documentary series.
The manager's job at Monaghan Utd represented for Roddy a welcome break after seven long years in the footballing wilderness. His new role lay in a GAA heartland where soccer had always been a minority faith. And while Roddy wasn't the first evangelist to preach in this parish, until you've heard Roddy you can't say you've heard them all.
In his first season in charge, Roddy led Monaghan to promotion from Division One and the documentary joined his team as they got ready for the Premier League. The Promised Land. They had a small fan base, limited funds and were favourites for relegation. What could possibly go wrong?
Return Of The Rod Squad secured access all areas to Gortakeegan in an observational documentary of an Irish domestic football season. The camera witnessed an unexpectedly truncated season and many dramatic twists and intriguing turns. Along the way, the programmes celebrate the ways in which Monaghan United provides a focal point for a small community. The viewers will meet long time club volunteers Padraig Cassidy, Mary White and Patsy Brosnan as they busily beaver behind the scenes.
Could the contagious energy of Dr. Feelgood Collins survive the glaring realities of top flight domestic soccer? Or would the dreams of Roddy and a small footballing community turn to dust ?
Return Of The Rod Squad is a Loosehorse production for Setanta Sports. Loosehorse is one of Ireland's leading independents - producing programmes ranging from The Naked Election to Galvinised to Welcome To My World. The series has been supported by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.