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01st Jun 2024

Stephen Kenny outlines ambitious vision for St Patrick’s Athletic

Ronan Calvert

Stephen Kenny Pat's

Former Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has high hopes.

Stephen Kenny is already making his mark at St Patrick’s Athletic.

The former Ireland boss was only appointed as Pat’s manager last month but he’s already started planning for the future.

Last night saw Kenny pick up the first win of his Pat’s career, a 2-1 victory over Galway, but previous games against Derry, Shelbourne and Bohemians gave him plenty to consider.

Pat’s looked a disjointed team in those matches, a matter not helped by their severe lack of options at fullback worsened by an injury to left-back Anto Breslin.

Kenny has also questioned the spirit of the team since his arrival; he was unimpressed by the lack of celebration following Jake Mulraney’s sublime free-kick against Shelbourne.

“When Jake scored the other night, the goal of the season, we didn’t celebrate together, what’s that about?

“You celebrate your goals as a group. show your joy, that’s why you are in it and they did it on Friday with the two goals, it’s all part of it.”

Big plans.

The gist of it appears to be that Kenny – who is not just manager but also a ‘partner’ of club owner Gareth Kelleher – will be putting his own stamp on the team with new signings before very long.

It is therefore up to the current players to prove whether they are capable of being part of the club’s journey or not.

Kenny revealed on Friday night that he has already begun to contact players about potentially joining his charges at Richmond Park.

His extensive contact book from two decades in the League of Ireland, time as Ireland under-21 manager and eventually Ireland senior boss, means he has plenty of talented players to call upon.

And he is hoping to use St Pat’s’ impressive facilities as one of the key selling points. Pat’s train on Sport Ireland facilities at Abbotstown, the same place where Kenny coached the Republic of Ireland for four years.

“The big thing for me is planning for the future and I’ve been doing that,” Kenny told

“Going toward the end of the year and next year, I think we’ll have the best training ground in the league, a lot of the Sport Ireland facilities.

“We want to get it because a lot of things aren’t right around it at the club and we have to get that right.

We will have the best facilities and speaking to a lot of players, they want to come here and they understand what we’re going to do.

“I’ve been speaking to a few players and they want to come here. It might be the end of the season or whatever, but a lot of players want to come here as they know we’re going to build something with really top class training facilities, a good working environment and we want to build something.

“We have it all to do. You wouldn’t envisage big changes (in terms of transfers) in July, you’re talking a few.

“It’s up to players now to want to be part of the club, to know that it’s going to be a vibrant club and to want to be part of it, and put in performances to justify that.”

St Pat’s must now be one of the most attractive clubs around for any Irish player.

With international-class training facilities, a manager with international experience and – perhaps most importantly – an owner prepared to back his manager’s exciting vision, they look all but destined to embark on a fascinating journey in the coming seasons.

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