Saturday 24 February 2018

Kenny and Perth to renew old partnership at Dundalk


FOURTEEN years after recruiting him as a player, Stephen Kenny will rejoin forces with Vinny Perth after naming him as Dundalk first-team coach.

Kenny was the youngest manager in League of Ireland history when he took charge at Longford in 1998, and one of the first signings he made was then 22-yearold Perth from Cherry Orchard who would go on to play in FAI Cup Finals (winning two) and earn League Cup and First Division medals as well as playing in Europe during his career.

The Dubliner latterly played for Shamrock Rovers and ended his playing career ironically with Dundalk. In his early thirties he turned to management and was assistant to Aaron Callaghan at Longford before taking the reins himself in 2008.

He then took a step back from the League of Ireland and managed Leinster Senior club Malahide United, leading them to promotion last season, but on Sunday he informed the chairman at Gannon Park that he was leaving to join the Lilywhites.

Reflecting on the appointment on Tuesday afternoon, Kenny said: 'Vinny is a very astute character, he's committed and has a lot of experience, and he's a very driven person, and he'll be an important part of the set-up,' he said.

Perth will be introduced to the players when pre-season training resumes this evening (Wednesday), with 14 players expected to take part in some fitness testing in the Youth Development Centre. Kenny had no injuries to report yesterday, although John Mountney hasn't been able to do much fitness work in recent weeks after undergoing a hernia operation over Christmas.

'He had his appendix out just before the play-off and came back quickly and then had a hernia, but he should be okay. He hasn't been able to do anything, but he is a very fit lad,' said Kenny.

'Wednesday is a meet and greet, with a lot of players coming to the club for the first time, and we have seven weeks' preseason and will make sure we're well prepared for Shamrock Rovers on March 8th.

'The players I've signed so far are all good types. They're hungry to do well and progress their careers beyond the league, and they're not kids. They're players who have played a number of games in this league.'

Kenny confirmed that Dundalk would play friendlies at home to Finn Harps (Friday February 8th) and Wexford Youths (Friday February 22nd), before facing a Northern Ireland amateur international team at a Northern venue on Monday 25th. Their final game before the League opener will be the Jim Malone Cup match against Drogheda United on Friday March 1st.

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