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Brian Kerr, (born 3 March 1953 in Dublinmarker) is an Irishmarker football manager, most noted for managing the Republic of Ireland national side. He is currently the manager for the Faroe Islands national football team.

Early days

Kerr grew up in Drimnaghmarker, a suburb in south west Dublinmarker. He began playing football for noted schoolboy side Crumlin United along with future world champion athlete Eamonn Coghlan. He also boxed with Drimnagh Boxing Club as his father was a coach there. He gained employment in U.C.D as a trainee technician , while following his football interests. Kerr, although playing for Shelbourne F.C. B team, realised he did not possess enough talent to make it to the top as a footballer and at an early age decided to concentrate on coaching. At age 13, Kerr took his first coaching role when appointed to the Crumlin United under 11 side. He was then invited by Liam Tuohy to manage Shamrock Rovers B side in 1972.

He quickly set about gaining all relevant coaching badges and was appointed assistant manager at Shelbourne F.C. in 1983. The following season he moved to Home Farm where he was involved in a bizarre incident in November 1984.While studying in Kevin St College he managed both the college team and the inter-colleges to trophy success he was a hard taskmaster.

After a stint at Drogheda United he coached under Liam Tuohy with the Irish Youth side that reached the World Cup finals in 1985. He resigned in April 1986.

St. Patrick's Athletic

In December 1986 Kerr was appointed manager of League of Ireland side St Patrick's Athletic. Kerr told reporters that as a fan of St. Pats, this appointment was a "dream come true". Within 3 weeks Kerr had won his first senior trophy as St. Pats won the Leinster Senior Cup. It was the Inchicoremarker side's first trophy in a decade. Traditionally one of Ireland's poorer clubs, Kerr immediately set about rebuilding the squad on a shoe string budget. He acquired several players from junior and schoolboy football (such as future international Curtis Fleming) and rescued others from reserve leagues. This included John McDonnell, who went on to become manager of the club himself. St. Pats drew 1-1 with Dundalk F.C. in the last game of the 1987/88 season when a win would have seen St. Pats gain their first league title since 1956. In 1990, Kerr led St. Pats to that long cherished league championship.

As financial troubles hit St. Pats, Kerr was forced to offload his star players and all bar John Treacy left by 1993. In 1992, with the club facing liquidation, Kerr was among a group of investors (many of whom re-mortgaged their houses) who raised IR£82,000 which helped save the club from extinction. Once again Kerr was left the job of rebuilding a totally new squad and once again he showed he was more than capable as St. Pats won the league again 1996. In December 1996 he shocked St. Pats by quitting to become technical director of the Football Association of Ireland. Kerr is still idolised by fans of St Patrick's Athletic and most commentators attribute the further success the club have had largely down to work started by Kerr.

Republic of Ireland Youth coach

As part of his technical director remit, Kerr was manager of Republic of Ireland sides from Under-16 to Under-20 level. His first major tournament was the 1997 World Youth Championships. Kerr surprised many commentators by bringing 3 players from the League of Ireland but was proved correct when Republic of Ireland won bronze medals by finishing third. The undoubted star of the Irish team was Damien Duff.

The following year Kerr guided Republic of Ireland to an unprecedented double by winning both the Under-16 and Under-18 European Championships. No Irish team had ever won a major trophy before (and none have won since). A number of the players involved would go on to win full international caps, such as John O'Shea and Robbie Keane. In 1999 Republic of Ireland were knocked out of the World Youth Championships by hosts Nigeria on penalties in the quarter final. He again qualified Ireland for the 2003 World Youth Championships before taking up the position of manager of the senior national side.

Republic of Ireland Senior Side

After two defeats in the opening two qualifying games for Euro 2004, national manager Mick McCarthy resigned from his post. On 26 January 2003, Kerr was appointed as the new full time manager. This was welcomed by most sections of the media and fans alike. He was, however, left a huge challenge to achieve qualification. Following a draw at home to Russia, and a defeat in Switzerland, Republic of Ireland finished 3rd, and were out of the competition.

In qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Kerr managed Ireland to only one defeat. However late goals conceded to Israel, at home and away, saw the Republic of Ireland finish in 4th place, in a very tight group. Thus for a second time Kerr's squad had failed to qualify. Kerr came in for heavy criticism from sections of the media, who saw his tactics as negative. Kerr himself felt that the media were being excessively intrusive and unhelpful, in his efforts to perform his job. Kerr now responded by refusing to entertain media questioning concerning his decision making. As a result many journalists withdrew their support for Kerr, and became even more critical of his role, in the backdrop of a dramatic decline of the Irish soccer team in the FIFA world ranking.

Other commentators pointed to a perceived lack of talent in the squad as being the most important factor, due to Kerr's successes in his previous managerial appointements. In October 2005 Kerr's contract was not renewed by the FAI. Kerr was personally disappointed. He was replaced by Steve Staunton. In 2006 Kerr became a director of Sport against Racism Ireland (SARI). Kerr is a regular contributor on radio, television and to newspapers (including the Irish Times) as a soccer pundit.

After failing to have his contract renewed by the FAI, Brian Kerr was linked with a number of management positions, most notably with the national team of India however after a preliminary trip there he decided he was not interested in this position.

St. Patrick's Athletic Director of Football

In March 2007 Kerr returned to St. Patrick's Athletic football club, this time taking a position as Director of Football, a role to which he was appointed by new club owner Garrett Kelleher.

On 19 May 2008 Kerr announced his resignation from his role as director of football at St Pat's with immediate effect.

Coach of Faroe Islands

On 6 April 2009, Brian Kerr was confirmed as head coach of the Faroe Islands national football team.He stated on Tubridy Tonight (an Irish talk show) that the Faroese language was '50% Norwegian, 50% Gaeilge'.His first game as manager was on 10 June 2009 against Serbia in Tórshavnmarker, in which they lost 0-2.

On 9 September 2009, the Faroe Islands won 2-1 against Lithuania in a 2010 World Cup qualifying game, their first World Cup qualifying win since September 2001.

On 17 November 2009, a documentary aired on RTEmarker called 'Away with the Faroes', about Kerr taking over as the Faroes boss.

Honours







References


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