Dennehy on board as Kerry Under 17 coach
The Kerry management team have secured a great acquisition for the season ahead with Billy Dennehy joining the coaching staff.
The Tralee man has played the game cross channel with Accrington Stanley and came back to play League of Ireland football with Derry City, St Patrick's Athletic, Shamrock Rovers and Cork City and has moved to play with Limerick FC in January.
Now as he is residing at home in Tralee again he says it gives him an opportunity to give something back to the game by getting involved with the under 17 team. He now assists each Tuesday and Thursday evening at the training sessions at Mounthawk Park and is enjoying the experience.
Previously he was involved in a coaching capacity with the Kerry Under 13 Schoolboys team and really enjoyed it and says when the option came to get involved with the Kerry Under 17 team he was glad to oblige.
He has spent a period of time pursuing his coaching badges and with certification obtained he is now well prepared for the challenge ahead. He says he hopes to guide the squad on the right path based on all the experience he has gained over the past decade.
He is impressed by the talent of the under 17 squad and says he is enjoying working with them. He is very pleased to see Kerry having an under 15 and under 17 side and he says hopefully they can go on to enter an under 19 team in the near future.
He says these teams are a great stepping stone for young players to try and get the attention of cross channel clubs and maybe down the line a few players might have a chance of playing cross channel through their involvement with the under 17 team.
He says very often players go to cross channel clubs at a very young age and that can be daunting for them and a high percentage don't make the grade. He says it would be better if players went in their late teens after coming through national competitions such as the Airtricity under 17 or under 19 leagues.
It is understood that the KDL are planning to set up an under 19 team in the near future and that is somethng that they should be aspired to. Some very good players have been coming through from the Kerry under 17 team over the last couple of years and their interests must be catered for before they go into their full adult playing careers.
It is understood that Kerry may be able to enter a sennior team in the League of Ireland somewhere down the road and an 17 team is a stepping stone in this direction.
The idea of establishing an under 17 team in the first place was to try and provide a platform for young players to get the experience necessary to play with a Kerry team in the League of Ireland should that day ever come to pass.
An under 19 team should be the next phase and after that perhaps League of Ireland may happen.
SQUAD: Leon Shalemba, James Rusk, Sebastian Vasiu, Padraig McCannon, Jr Tsikato, Jordan Barry, John Carmody, David Oba, Paddy O'Rourke (all The Park); Nathan Gleeson, David Rogers, Junior Ankomah, Patrick Dowling (all Tralee Dynamos); Liam Collins, Shane O'Connell, Dylan Quirke (Abbeyfeale United); Owen Benson (Killarney Athletic), Bojan Nikic (Inter Kenmare), Dylan Murphy (Mastergeeha), Alex O'Connor (Killorglin)
KERRY SOUTHERN ELITE FIXTURES
March 18 - away to Cabinteely
March 25 - home to UCD
April 8 - away to Limerick
April 15 - home to Cork
April 22 - home to Wexford
April 29 - away to Waterford
May 6 - home to Bray
May 13 - away to Shamrock Rovers
May 20 - home to Galway
July 1 - away to Cobh
July 8 - away to Wexford
July 15 - home to Cabinteely
July 22 - away to UCD
July 29 - home to Limerick
August 12 - away to Cork
August 19 - home to Waterford
August 26 - away to Bray Wanderers
September 2 - home to Shamrock Rovers
September 16 - away to Galway
September 30 - home to Cobh