M after winter storm
never any ambiguity, for he called the shots, and the players knew this.
He made this obvious in a preCup final interview for when asked about a player’s dissatisfaction at being taken off in a game the manager responded “there is only one manager, and the players know that”.
Presumably responsibility within the new structure was central to the lengthy negotiations that took place after the owners rejected the idea of bringing in an ‘outsider’ to replace Stephen Kenny, and all along they seemed content to look for an ‘in house’ solution centred round Vinnie Perth, with his lack of the necessary coaching qualifications, being the only obstacle round which they had to find a solution with John Gill, because of his links with the club, providing the answer.
Undoubtedly it is a solution that the majority of supporters would favour, for having been crowned by his former boss, Stephen Kenny as his recommended successor, and having earned the chance over the last five seasons at Kenny’s side, many felt that to bring on an outsider at this stage presented a bigger risk.
Naturally it will take time for the new coaching structure to bed in, and hopefully supporters will be patient, not getting on the back of the coaching staff or the players is the early season games do not go well.
Supporters must also be mindful of the reality that Stephen Kenny, Dundalk’s most successful manager of all time, is a very hard act to follow, and one has only to look across the water to see the difficulty encountered by Manchester United in replace their most successful manager, Alex Ferguson.
Unquestionably Stephen Kenny’s departure has taken some of the buzz out of the coming season, and that is only to be expected, for the Dubliner was the axis round which the club revolved, not just in the trophies he gathered on the Oriel Park sideboard, or the quality of the football that his teams played, but almost as importance, the image that he projected of the club, the town and supporters.
His departure heralds a new era at Oriel the Vinnie Perth - John Gill era, and hopefully it can be as successful, for the nucleus of the squad remains, all at the top of their profession in the country, and there is little doubt that they have the qualities needed to add the trophy sideboard at Oriel.
The squad having lost Ronan Murray and surprisingly Dylan Connolly may need to be embellished before the start of the new season, and hopefully the absence of a CEO won’t delay that process in signing players identified by the new coaching team.
While Ronan Murray’s departure to Sligo Rovers was expected given his limited playing time last season, the real surprise was Dylan Connol- ly’ s move to Wimbledon AC, for a fee reported to be approximately the same that Dundalk paid to Bray Wanderers 18 months ago for the winger.
Over that 18 months he played a total of 51 games in all competitions, scoring 8 goals, his most important the only goal in the away win against Levadia Tallainn in the Europa League. At times he flattered to deceive for while he had explosive speed, and a powerful shot, he never progressed to the extent that many anticipated.
It will be interesting to see his progress in England, for currently none of the former Dundalk players, Richie Towell apart, are not setting the world alight in England and Scotland and there is persistent talk of Andy Boyle and David McMillian returning to Irish football, hopefully to Dundalk.
It’s been another rather turbulent close season, but then again had we any right to believe that it would be different.
Georgie Kelly shows his aerial ability.
Gary Rogers checks out the new gym facilities at the YDC.