Sunday 18 August 2019

Kenny gets Pat's job with challenge of top-four finish

St Patrick’s Athletic manager Harry Kenny. Photo: Sportsfile
St Patrick’s Athletic manager Harry Kenny. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Garrett Kelleher has tasked his new St Patrick's Athletic manager Harry Kenny with a mission to mount a top-four challenge next season.

Kenny spent the 2013 title-winning season as assistant to his predecessor Liam Buckley and returns to Inchicore having seen off a field of quality rival candidates.

Since Buckley quit four weeks ago, Paul Doolin, Pat Fenlon, Kenny Cunningham and Gerard Nash were all interviewed about the vacancy.

Kenny took up his only managerial role in April 2016 at Bray Wanderers, his patience with a catalogue of off-field instability finally running out after 16 months when he walked away a year ago.

Much of Buckley's frustration in the final years of an otherwise successful seven-year spell in Inchicore stemmed from having to operate with a restricted budget.

Revival

Despite the Saints having failed to qualify for Europe for a third year running, the club owner expects the new boss, who departs his coaching role in the FAI, to engineer a revival.

"We look forward to the next chapter at the club and expect to be back challenging at the top end of the table in 2019," said the property developer, whose multi-million investment has kept the club afloat over the past decade.

Meanwhile, three of Dundalk's title winners make up the shortlist for the PFAI's Player of the Year award.

Chris Shields, Michael Duffy and top scorer Patrick Hoban, have been nominated by their peers for the top accolade and they are joined by three more members of Stephen Kenny's Lilywhites in the team of the season.

Cork City provide two representatives in Kieran Sadlier and Sean McLoughlin - as do Bohemians, with Darragh Leahy and goalkeeper Shane Supple. Waterford midfielder Bastien Héry completes the line-up.

PFAI TEAM OF YEAR - S Supple (Bohemians); S Gannon (Dundalk), S Hoare (Dundalk), S McLoughlin (Cork City); D Leahy (Bohemians); R Benson (Dundalk), C Shields (Dundalk), B Héry (Waterford); K Sadlier (Cork City), P Hoban (Dundalk), M Duffy (Dundalk)

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