An FAI delegation visited Kerry soccer’s headquarters in Mounthawk Park, Tralee on Wednesday afternoon and also met the board members of Kerry FC, who are in advanced condition, with their application for a license to play in the Division 1 League of Ireland in 2023 .
Irish-born Kerry FC CEO Boston-based football coach Brian Ainscoe spoke about the Kerry FC project and what they hope to achieve if their League of Ireland license application is successful.
“I’m a dub who played football at a decent level with Billy (Dennehy) and played with Home Farm.
“I had the chance to move to America on a scholarship in 1983 and was involved on a professional level, coaching at the university for 26 years and actively involved in youth football in the USA.
“I’m here at the invitation of young lad Kerry Steven Conway, who works and coaches me in Boston along with Billy Dennehy, who were trying to come up with a plan that would ensure that the best underage talent in the area would have the opportunity to play at a higher level without traveling to district limits. We just want Carry players to be able to play in their backyard.”
Football director Billy Dennehy, who played at Sunderland, Derry City, Cork City and Shamrock Rovers where he was their top scorer in 2011 with 16 goals in all competitions, explained that initially all players will homegrown.
“FC Kerry’s primary goal is to provide an elite path for young players in this district and region. The grassroots fan base in Kerry is very strong and the clubs are doing a phenomenal job on the platform they provide each week for amateur sports.
“But there has never been a path to elite sports in this county. Few people understand what it means to come from Kerry and how difficult it is to become a professional footballer. not many people understand that the desire to progress in this game is very difficult.
“I guess since I retired my only goal is to break down some of the barriers that I had to overcome back in 2005. There are those guys who are leaving, the clubs are celebrating them, they were part of their development and they are happy that they are leaving, but how many of them, who did not cross the English Channel and should return, play more.
“It’s important to me to have a backup plan for these players, it’s important to me that we provide them with a springboard to get back into the game. The foundation was laid in Kerry with U15, U17 and U19 national league teams and now we have players with the hunger, desire and belief to belong to that level so Kerry FC will provide the way.
“We could approach this in two ways: take it from the outside and try to achieve instant success or use our own homegrown talent with less emphasis on results and more on creating the future, we chose the latter.”
Fellow board member Sean O’Keeffe and chairman of the Kerry County Football League have said they will need to work on the pitch and stand to bring the stadium up to the standards required by the license, but from interactions with the FAI they are confident. that Kerry FC will be licensed in November; that Kerry FC will play League of Ireland football on Friday nights in February 2023.