Thursday 22 February 2018

Kenna slams clubs' lack of respect

Ruaidhri O'Connor IN OSLO

CONOR KENNA believes that League of Ireland players are losing respect for the clubs seeking to employ them.

Last season's St Patrick's Athletic captain has not heard from the club he skippered with aplomb since receiving his P45 on the final day of the campaign.

As a public servant, working at Tallaght Hospital, he is being cut every which way -- and his part-time job as a footballer is not providing the respite it should.

In another era, the teak tough central-defender -- one of the league's best players -- would be preparing for another season leading the Saints. Instead, he finds himself in Norway, playing for the PFAI team in the FIFPro-organised trial tournament against opponents from Norway, Sweden and Finland.

And Kenna has strong words for the clubs back home who have put short-term security ahead of long-term planning. "It's ridiculous, really. The one thing Shamrock Rovers have is stability and they are doing so well because of that," he said.

"Pat's were getting that. Pete (Mahon) was building that, but they wanted to go a different way. Fair enough, that's up to them.

"There is no stability in too may clubs. That makes it hard to respect them.

"I'm lucky to have a job -- even though I'm getting cuts all over the place. But you wouldn't be doing the football at this level if you didn't love the game," he added.

"After our last game of the season in Drogheda, Pete came up to us all with envelopes and said: 'I don't know what's happening, I haven't heard. There's your P45 and I'll be in touch when I know. All the best.'

"True to his word, he rang when he found out that he was out of the job."

Kenna refutes the notion that the players' dispute with the club during their European run, which threatened the very future of St Pat's, has anything to do with none of the 2011 squad having, as yet, been offered a contract by new manager Liam Buckley.

"No, what happened in Europe is the exact same as what is happening now -- no communication. We couldn't get answers then and now we're out of contract and we don't get answers.

"A lot of the lads played well during the season. They're top players and would be a benefit to any club," he said.

Irish Independent

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