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Harry's game all about doing things just right!

HARRY KENNY got off the plane in Vancouver. He wasn't expecting such a famous face to pick him up.

It was Peter Lorimar, the man with the hardest shot in football. The former Leeds legend was playing with the Whitecaps at the time.

The Whitecaps weren't short of good company. Names like Peter Beardsley, Alan Taylor, Terry Yorath, Alan Ball and Willie Johnston were all part of Johnny Giles's American adventure.

Harry shared accommodation with Pierce O'Leary, now doing well with his Cleaning company in Glasgow.

Harry is busy with the FAI. He holds an A Licence Coaching badge. Acquiring your coaching badges is the advice he'd give to any manager in schoolboy or junior soccer.

"You learn so much at the courses. And not just about the practice itself. So much of it is about the other coaches you meet and learning how they go about their business.

"I was lucky enough to play under Johnny Giles, Jim McLaughlin and Dermot Keely, three great managers and three great people. In my own coaching work, I'd take pieces from what I learned from them."

Next Sunday, Harry will be putting his managerial pedigree to the test when he manages the St Declan's College All-Stars against Bohemians in a match that forms part of the golden jubilee celebrations of the famous Cabra school.

Harry's team will include lads like Owen Heary, Paul Keegan and his own brother, Marc, who was at Liverpool. He feels he'll need all the quality he can muster to outwit Pat 'Nutsy' Fenlon.

"Pat is a superb manager. He has such a brilliant footballing brain," states Harry.

The grand old lady of Phibsboro will bring back fond memories to Harry. "When I won the FAI Cup there with Rovers against Dundalk in 1987, I sent my old team-mate, Alan O'Neill, the wrong way from the penalty spot."

Harry was 13 years at Milltown. "I was lucky enough to be on the four-in-a-row League winning team. There were some fantastic players there - names like Jacko McDonagh, Pat Byrne, Alan Campbell, Paul Doolin and Mick Byrne.

"Jim McLaughlin had assembled a great squad. During that four-in a row period, we rarely lost a match. McLaughlin always knew who to buy. Keely inherited that panel when McLaughlin left for Derry, and in his first year Dermot did the double. It was all about acquiring good players."

Harry was full-time at Rovers under Giles. "Johnny was very good to me. He was nearing the end of his playing days, but even at that age he was some player. And what knowledge he had. I was there with young lads like Jim Beglin, Ritchie Bayly and Pierce O'Leary."

Harry played schoolboy football with Villa United in Cabra, the same club as Ashley Grimes. Grimes had a left foot that could open a packet of peanuts.

Ashley signed for Manchester United from Bohs. In one game for Bohs, he scored an incredible goal. The shot was so powerful that the ball wedged deep in the stanchion.

Harry was a prince of a full-back, sharp and tidy. His favourite word when he's talking to young players is PRACTICE.

"It's like that old Gary Player golf saying - 'the more I practice, the luckier I get'. You just can't stress it enough - practice, practice, practice.

"A young player has to have ambition and also the temperament to take the knocks and get on with it. You have to stick with it."

Harry is looking forward to Sunday. "It's going to be a great occasion. A lot of organising has gone into it.

*St Declan's Golden Jubilee Celebration Match: Sunday, February 7th, Dalymount Park - St Declan's All-Stars v Bohemians.


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