Stephen Henderson has detailed the mounting frustrations that ultimately led to him departing Cobh Ramblers, with a dirty set of jerseys proving the final straw for the twice-appointed manager.

Henderson left the club following the 2-1 First Division defeat of Galway United three weeks ago, but it was a mix-up before the clash against Bray Wanderers at the end of May that tipped him over the edge.

"We had a home match against Bray," he told the RTÉ Soccer Podcast.

"We'd no gear. Our last two strips were still in a bag, filthy dirty. We found 14 jerseys from our third kit. We had to break open a press to find more gear for them. That was it then. I made up my mind."

There were other incidents before that. In the league opener against Drogheda United at United Park, the team coach kept breaking down on the long journey to Louth. "We stopped counting after 15," Henderson added. "It broke down 15 times. It was an absolutely beautiful coach on the inside. We got there at half 7."

However deeper problems with the board were the real issue for Henderson, who played for Cobh and had two stints with them as boss. 

"Between playing and managing them twice I spent 11 years there," he said. 

"We said, 'look, let's go in here and see if we can put a plan in place that will make the club financially sound, structurally sound for the coming years'.

"The first two or three years there were really difficult because we were going out meeting people we owed money to and we were asking them, 'can you take a cut on this?'. In fairness most of them were fantastic with us. We had a huge debt and we got it right down.

"When you put your structures in place and you learn from your mistakes then you have a chance.

"They changed things. A new committee came in and said, 'no that's not the way we want to go', and I said, 'fine'. 

"A series of other things happened that brought me back three years to when I went in first. I just thought, 'I'm not doing this again'."

There were many good days. 

"We won the league in 2007, that was the first trophy they ever won," Henderson added. 

"We won a Munster Senior Cup. For small clubs like ourselves that was a big thing for us.

"Getting to the EA Sports Cup final [against Derry City in 2018] was fantastic, beating Dundalk in the semi-final. There was a magnificent atmosphere in the ground that night.

"That kind of gave you a lift, made you hopeful that it would spur on the crowds to come back in the gate. But when the EA Sports Cup final was over, when we should have been able to kick on from that and generate interest, we hadn't a game for nearly six months. The league was over.

"How do you keep the interest in your club when you don't have a game for six months? It was just very, very difficult."

Henderson admits it was a wrench to leave but insisted he remains desperate to see the club thrive.

"I was gutted. I put my heart and soul into there. We done an awful lot of work in terms of trying to get debt down, trying to give credibility back to the football club, trying to make the club competitive on the pitch.

"I loved every minute of it. I loved all the players involved. I loved the fact that we were the underdogs.

"There's a new crew in there. They have their own way of doing things and I do genuinely wish them every success with it. I just want that club to be successful and I want them players to have as much success as they can."

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