Friday 19 January 2018

Kerr admits to mixed feelings as draw confirms premonition

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

BRIAN KERR had a feeling that fate would place his Faroe Islands side in the same World Cup group as Ireland, but confessed to mixed emotions when his premonition came to pass.

The Dubliner admitted it would be strange to go up against players who he brought through the youth system and subsequently managed at senior level when he was employed by the FAI.

He must first agree new a contract with the Faroes -- his deal expires at the end of the European campaign -- but after bringing about improvement it would be a surprise if his current bosses were unhappy.

The only obstacle to his involvement might be interest from another suitor, although you suspect that a chance to lock horns with Giovanni Trapattoni would appeal, even if there is an ounce of regret about the circumstances.

"There'd be a bit of me saying that I'd like to be coming back with a team that I'd have a real chance with," said Kerr.

"The reality is that the Republic of Ireland should beat the Faroes out of sight. But when it comes to it, let's see how we are.

"A lot can happen in 14 months. It's very hard mentally for me. Generally with teams I've managed we could win, qualify for tournaments and get into contention.

"It's much more difficult with the Faroes, I've never had such a big a gap as this."

Kerr imagines that the Irish game will be played in Torshavn, where floodlights are being installed for the upcoming meeting with Italy in the Euro 2012 Group C encounter.

His preference would be Suduroy, the most southern part of the islands which is a two-hour boat trip away.

If Kerr is in charge when the tie comes around, it is inevitable that the circumstances of his departure from the Irish job in 2005 will be brought up again. There is no love lost between the ex-St Pat's boss and FAI chief executive John Delaney.

"I had a lot of time there working with great teams and great people," he said. "A lot of the people that I worked with are gone now. Everybody's moved on."

Delaney batted away any reference to Kerr.

"It's not an issue for me or the association who the manager of any other country is," he said. "We'll just get on with it and play our games.

"He manages the Faroe Islands and we're playing them in two matches and hopefully we'll win both matches."

Irish Independent

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