Thursday 26 April 2018

Bray supremo Kenny trying to limit his team's thrills and spills thrill

Bray Wanderers manager Harry Kenny. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Bray Wanderers manager Harry Kenny. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

The game of the night in the League of Ireland is the Turner's Cross meeting of Cork City and Derry City.

But for thrills and spills, Bray Wanderers have become the unlikely go-to club. Harry Kenny's side won rave reviews last term for the organisation and discipline which lay behind an extremely impressive second half of the campaign. Club records for clean sheets were broken en route to a sixth-placed finish.

They sit fourth ahead of Galway United's visit to the Carlisle Grounds, but they have reached that position through different means.

In the entirety of the 2016 league campaign, Bray games featured a total of 79 goals - 39 for and 40 against. Seven games into this season, Seagulls fixtures have already thrown up 30.

Their goalscoring return of 16 is second only to clear leaders Cork City. But only second-from-bottom Sligo Rovers have conceded more than the 14 goals that Kenny's charges have leaked.

The Bray manager was a defender on the great Shamrock Rovers side of the 1980s and he admits that he's not especially enjoying the rollercoaster ride.

formula "I'm a defender from old," said Kenny. "In the '80s we didn't give anything away and that's my mantra. I love clean sheets but I just can't get them at the moment. It's very hard, I've been changing the back four around trying to get the formula.

"And the back five are all the lads from last season. They were terrific when we went on that run, but ut we can't keep the ball out of the net this season."

Galway are still searching for a first win, with the fact that three teams go down putting pressure on every team that has started sluggishly.

Sligo Rovers and Limerick have both changed their managers this week. Micky Adams is a leading contender to return to Sligo, while Martin Russell has also been linked with the role after parting company with Limerick.

Russell spoke to the LOI Weekly Podcast about leaving the Shannonsiders and indicated that the club hierarchy are expecting the newly-promoted club to push for a top-half finish.

"We had a difference of opinion but that happens," said Russell.

"We managed to increase our budget from the First Division which we needed to do. Without knowing the exact budgets (of others), we had a fighting budget for me to finish in the top half. But we weren't singing off the same hymn sheet and, when that happens, something had to give.

"There is pressure (for all managers), from the drop-zone area to people wanting to get the big prizes and get into Europe."

You can listen to the LOI Podcast on or search LOI Weekly on ITunes or Soundcloud

Irish Independent

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