‘It was a great experience even with all the stuff’
HARRY KENNY is bitterly disappointed that Europe now seems beyond Bray Wanderers – even if he wouldn’t be around to enjoy the spoils.
Kenny confirmed that he would be resigning from his post at the end of the season to allow him to fully concentrate on hisrolewiththeFAI.TheShamrock Rovers legend has been in charge of the Seagulls since April 2016 - on a caretaker basis initially before being handed the reins in June.
In his time, he guided the club to a sixth place finish and has lead them to play some of the most entertaining football ever witnessed at the Carlisle Grounds. He is currently set to improve on last season’s sixth place finish but, like the perfectionist that he is, he still wishes for more.
“We talked about Europe before the game and it was still alive. We talked about getting the three points and being only a point behind Derry and keeping on them for the rest of the season but it wasn’t to be. I thought we were in control of the game but we could’ve ended up losing the thing only for Peter’s save. It was an okay, scrappy affair with lots of refereeing decisions…I’m disappointed not to get the three points at home to a team that’s down the wrong end of the table.
“The game was actually typical of our season tonight! If you’re scoring three goals – you have to be winning that match. There’s no two ways about it. I’ve been a defender myself and I’m a great man for building teams from the back which we did last year and that’s how we went on that run. But this season has been a disappointment on that front. We’ve conceded too many goals. We’re third or fourth highest (third) in the goals against which for a team fifth in the table – it’s not good enough. You’ll never win anything like that.”
Kenny has admitted that he has flirted with throwing in the towel many times this season but despite finally taking the plunge, there is no great weight off his back and he also doesn’t rule out a return to management one day.
“There’s no sense of relief. I don’t know where my feelings are at the moment. I’m just after coming away from a rollercoaster match and I’ve just told the lads so my head is a little bit all over the place.
“I’ve been talking to the lads (the board) for a couple of weeks now.
“We all decided that now was the best time to decide it. The lads aren’t in the dark about it at all. That’s the kind of relationship we’ve had and everything is out in the front and there’s no problem.
“Of course (I’ll keep an eye on Bray next season)! I’ll even pop out here if I’m allowed in! I’ve fond memories of this place – I’ve had a lovely two and a half years here.
“I don’t know. It’s too early to say. I’ll concentrate on everything that’s going on with the FAI and knuckle down in the job there and we’ll see what the next few months bring.”
Kenny runs a project for the FAI in Clondalkin and that will now be his sole focus but he expects to have mixed feelings next season as Friday evenings approach.
“I love matchday. I love training and getting amongst the lads and talking to them and planning games and all that sort of thing so I’ll miss all that.
“Of course I’m going to miss it. We’ve done brilliant considering the ups and downs as you call it. I’ve had a great time. It’s been pretty successful – I don’t think Bray normally challenge at this end of the table.
“I got plenty of support from the guys to get in some very good players. When you work with good players, you expect to be up at the right end of the table.”
Did Kenny expect any of the last 18 months when he agreed to step in for Mick Cooke for two games in April 2016?
“Definitely not. I went in with Liam Buckley at Pat’s a couple of seasons ago and that’s where I cut my teeth in the league.
“Then I went with Mick and he left here and I took over here. I was grateful for the opportunity. I had always wanted a crack at it and I knew I could do the job. I’m delighted that I got the chance and I’m delighted with the two and a half seasons.
“It was a great experience even with the all the stuff thrown in as well.”