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The Horse with no Name⭐
Oct 27, 2003
The wilds of Kent
NEW Kilkenny City boss Pat Scully is all set for a tough season. However the manager is ready to give his all for the club, and only wants players who are prepared to do the same.
“I know what I want for this club, and I have no problem working for it,” the new manager said. “I’m not afraid of hard work, and the players I pick will know from the very start that I’m serious about this job.
“Anyone who thinks they can come down here for an easy time and pick up a few bob will be mistaken – this is not going to be a Mickey Mouse situation.”
The former Shelbourne and Shamrock Rovers defender was unveiled as the new boss at Buckley Park on Thursday, becoming the eighth man to take the helm in six years.
And while the ink may just be drying on his two- year contract, Scully knows exactly what he wants for the club.
“Hopefully this will be the start of something good,” he said. “I’ve had a good reaction to the job already, with a number of people ringing and wishing me well. I have also been speaking to players already, and am working on getting a squad together for the new season.”
With the new campaign set to kick off on March 20, Scully knows the pressure is on to get his squad in order.
“Some bits and pieces will take a bit longer, and we will be a little behind some other teams,” he admitted. “However I hope to have everything ready in the next two to three weeks.
Proper start
“I like to have everything done properly from the beginning – I believe that you have to start right. You have to have everything in order, not just the players.”
Hard work and commitment are just two parts of Scully’s plan for the Cats. Once he was confirmed for the manager’s hotseat, the first seeds of his vision were sown with a trip to his new home.
“After getting the job I got the chance to walk around Buckley Park and see some of the people there. All are hard-working and have a great love for the club. I liked the fact that the people I met are great believers in hard work, as am I.
“A lot of work has gone into the facilities at Buckley Park, and I want to get a team to match that. I’m proud to take the job as manager of Kilkenny City.
“Now I want the people of Kilkenny to be equally as proud of me and the team, and I can assure them that my side will give 100% for the club.”
Part of Scully’s blueprint for success may involve pulling on his football boots once again. After finishing the 2003 season, a parting of the ways with Drogheda United meant Scully thought the days of playing 90 minutes were over. However, while he was looking towards a managerial career, he refused to rule out a return to the pitch.
“I wanted to go into management at a club where I could still play a bit of football” he said. “I suppose I was taking a bit of a chance, as I had a few offers from clubs who just wanted me to play, but I stuck to my decision. I’m glad I did, as it worked out for me here in Kilkenny.
Right job
“Whether I play this season depends on the players I am able to bring in. If I can get someone to do the right job for me I won’t play – simple as that.
“When Paul Doolin came in as manager of Drogheda he decided he would let me go. I didn’t play football last season, but have been keeping in condition and kept myself well.
“But this job is not about me. It’s all about what’s best for Kilkenny City Football Club.
“I’ll make my decisions going by what’s good for the club. It will be the same with the players. Everyone will be doing their utmost to achieve what’s best for Kilkenny.
“I have played at Buckley Park a few times, and was impressed with the set-up. I’ve also read the general manager Jim Rhatigan’s book Mud, Sweat and Jeers, which has given me a feeling of the club’s history, as did meeting some of the people who work behind the scenes at the club. My first impression was that they love the club, and work hard for it.
“That’s part of the reason why I wanted this job. When I became aware of the vacancy I spoke to a friend about the club, who then put me in touch with the general manager.
“I got a good vibe from talking to Jim,” said Scully. “We have spoken at length and agreed on a number of things, such as the way we would like to see the club move forward.”
Steadied ship
Scully cut his managerial teeth when he stepped in as caretaker manager at Drogheda United near the end of the 2003-04 season. With the club in danger of losing the relegation battle, he steadied the ship and ended an eight game losing streak – beating Kilkenny’s local rivals Waterford United 3-0 in his first game in charge.
“That probably was the reason I was bitten by the managerial bug,” he said. “I love football, and was never just into the playing side of things. I like everything from preparation to tactics.
“I have always wanted to win, and it has been my ambition to do what’s best for the club. I got the chance to do that at Drogheda.
“In our first game I was able to make the changes I thought would improve the team. We beat Waterford 3-0, and were by far the better team that night.
“That really gave me a taste of what being a manager was like. I thought it was a very enjoyable experience, and decided that I would take the chance on a permanent basis if it came my way.”
Having played in the Premier Division for a number of years, some players could see the First Division as being something of an easier ride. However Scully will not entertain such ideas.
“At the end of the day it’s all down to the player’s attitude,” he said. “Some have great seasons at Premier level, but then are nowhere to be seen in the First Division. Look at the lower levels of English football. There are no airs or graces, and it’s the same here.
Same goal
“Regardless of what level you play at, nothing is ever easy in football. All the teams in the First Division have the same goal – to win promotion at the end of the season.
“There are a lot of good teams in this division, including some sides people may have seen as soft touches.
“Take a look at Limerick for example. They finished bottom of the division last season but have received a big cash injection which will put them in a good position to go for promotion. That’s football, so we must prepare as best we can and play to our abilities.”
Playing to their best means looking to bring in players who Scully feels can do the job. That selection process has already begun, with the new boss drawing up a list of players he thinks will bring his ideas to reality on the field.
“I have my eye on a few players already,” he said. “I have also seen Kilkenny play a few times in the last year and have also been given the phone numbers of some local players.
Local players
“We are starting from scratch with the squad this year, and while I know that time is against us, there are some good players in the Kilkenny area that I will be checking out.
“I know some people like to see a local team made up of local players,” he admitted. “If I could get 15 players from Kilkenny who I’m sure would do the job for me, then great. However I will also be looking at footballers from the edge of the area, such as Carlow, Waterford and Kildare as well as further afield.
“I want to do what’s best for the club. There are two ways of doing things – the professional way, and the non-professional. I want us to be a professional club.
“It doesn’t matter where the players are from, but they must have the will to win.
“We will work from a training base which will depend on where the players are from. However if that’s outside Kilkenny we will be here as much as we can. This is the area the players will be representing, so it’s important that we have a presence here.”
Throughout his playing career, managers were loud in their praise of Scully’s player qualities. As well as being called a strong player with a winning mentality, many have also recognised his role as a team leader. Scully admits that he will try to transfer those qualities from the field to the dugout by maintaining something he always had as a player – the strength to speak his mind.
“In all my years as a player, I’ve never been afraid of standing up to say something if it has to be said. I have my opinions on how this club should be run, and I know the way to do it – I’m very single-minded.
“I was lucky to play for some good managers – tough guys who knew what they wanted. I may pick some pieces up from things they taught me, but largely I’ll be doing it my way.
“After accepting the job, I left Kilkenny at 5pm and spoke to some players immediately. There are some structures on the field which need to be tied up, and other areas that need to be worked on.
“There is pressure to make sure next season is a success, but that’s to be expected – I have no problem with that. To me pressure is all part of the job. Hopefully we’ll do well and everyone will give it 100%.”
Part of Scully’s plan is to turn Buckley Park into a defensive fortress once again. While the club has spent the last few seasons building the ground for the future, performances on the field have not been as secure.
“After some poor seasons, some people may see Kilkenny City as being the whipping-boys of the division again, but I have brought my own expectations,” said Scully. “I don’t like being anybody’s whipping-boy and I won’t be. I’m not here to be beaten every week, and I’m looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead.
“I want all my players to have the same goal, and to remember that it’s not about the individual but the club.”
Scully is also a firm believer that the supporters will have their part to play in Kilkenny City’s return to good form.
“There is a lovely set-up here at the club,” he said. While the crowds have not been great in recent years we will use what we have here to try to restore the support.
Club loyalty
“Wherever you go you will see people who are loyal to their local club. I know people who live close to Highbury, but travel to see Gillingham play because that’s their local team. I hope Kilkenny people will have that view, and give us that chance at the start of the season.”
So at the end of the season, will there be anything the manager will be happy to say he has accomplished?
“If I had one objective it would be to focus on making a good start,” he said. “It’s going to be a bit more difficult coming into things so late, but that’s over with now. We have to focus on getting things done.
“Now it’s all about working with the budget set for me by the board of directors. My job is to do the best with what I get. It might not sound much to some managers, but if I didn’t think I could do the job with what I’ll be given I would never had accepted the position.
“It’s going to be a season of hard work, but if at the end I can look back and say that was a good year, then I will have achieved my ambition.”

Ron Manager

A number of Webby's old boys seem to be heading into management. Be interesting to see how they get on.

Maybe a pre-season friendly could be arranged between Tilly and Pat?


The Horse with no Name⭐
Oct 27, 2003
The wilds of Kent
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Ron Manager @ Feb. 03 2005,12:35)]A number of Webby's old boys seem to be heading into management. Be interesting to see how they get on.
I don't think it's coincidence. Webby recruited those with a passion for football and with strong characters...