M af­ter win­ter storm

The Argus - - SPORT -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.