Sunday 18 February 2018

Brian Kerr: I haven't been contacted by the FAI in 10 years

Brian Kerr says he would love another opportunity to manage at international level.
Brian Kerr says he would love another opportunity to manage at international level.

Michael Verney

Brian Kerr insists he would love another crack at international management and underage coaching despite not being contacted by the FAI since losing the Irish senior job in 2005.

The Drimnagh native was relieved of his duties following failed qualification bids to Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup but has been keeping himself busy in the mean time taking charge of the Faroe Islands from 2009-2011 and working various media roles.

He yearns to get back into management however, something he has been doing his whole life, and would love to take the reins once more if a suitable job was thrust his way.

“I would love to be involved in management and coaching again," he said. "It’s what I’ve been doing for nearly 40 years and I miss it. I enjoyed it. A lot of the time I was in tough situations but I loved the challenge and the tension involved," Kerr said.

"There hasn’t been an opportunity that I really wanted. I’ve spoken to clubs in Britain over the last few years but there was nothing that I felt particularly attracted to.

The 61-year-old keeps his finger on the pulse attending numerous schoolboy and Airtricity League games and has never lost his passion for the Irish game despite the lack of correspondence with the FAI.

Kerr still feels he has much to offer, he said: "I’d like to manage at a good level. I’ve no interest in managing in the lower leagues at the moment with the high turnover of managers and the average time in the job gone down to less than a year in those divisions.

"I’d love to work in international football again. I’d be happy to work in underage again, There was obviously a lot of success there in the past but an opportunity may not come again."

Read more: Brian Kerr labels Jose Mourinho's antics as 'same play with different actors'

The success he speaks of is the unprecedented U16 and U18 European Championship double which he oversaw in 1998 and his extensive experience leaves him in a privileged position to assist the current system.

He says that some of the programmes constructed by Packie Bonner and the late Noel O’Reilly were top quality but feels that the resources have not been put in to continue them.

"The finance just hasn’t been invested to produce the type of players we need to have to be competitive," said Kerr.

Dutch man Ruud Dokter is the FAI's High Performance Director but despite his wealth of knowledge Kerr has not once been consulted and it is something that mystifies the Dubliner.

"I have had no contact. I have not been invited into that parlour by this Dutch man or the previous Dutch man (Wim Koevemans). I think you’d have to ask them (the FAI) why that is," he said.

"They were the ones who decided not renew my contract in 2005 after I had been working for them for nearly 10 years.

"I think if there’s someone around with an ability to do things that nobody else has done then maybe his opinion should be asked in the development process."

On Dokter's future plans set to be released soon, Kerr said: "If he’s gone through a good process of consultation with people who understand the realities and traditions of Irish football I'm sure it’ll be a good plan.

"I hope he gets the support to implement it from all the leagues because there’s always been a resistance in the past from the school boys league to change.”

Kerr believes this change involves players being exposed to a higher level of coaching and expertise than they experience with their club and he believes there must be changes made to school boys football.

He said: “School boys football needs to move to the summer when the pitches aren’t in slop and when there's no exam pressure. It makes perfect sense but good luck trying to get that sorted with the powers that be.”

It makes little sense that the man who brought the likes of Robbie Keane, John O'Shea and Damien Duff through the ranks is not involved and Kerr believes the early success they achieved was pivotal to their successful senior careers.

"One of the reasons why they became such good players was because they had that early success at international level. That's something we are gravely missing with the current senior squad."

Brian Kerr was speaking at the launch of TV3's exclusive coverage of the biggest UEFA Champions League matches on Tuesday nights.

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