It’s Important To Keep The Faith With Kerry FC

Kerry FC Coach James Sugrue spoke to the media this week ahead of Finn Harps visit to Mounthawk Park on Friday evening and urged the fans to keep faith in their side which he believes are doing the right things and will break this run of six games without defeat. 

Not many match-going regulars would argue that the style of play he and Conor McCarthy have implemented this season has not been exciting to watch unfold, with pacey wingers looking to take on their opposition along with some great ball-playing midfielders in the centre of the park. The recent addition of Valerii Dolia to the squad for the first time after his pre-season foot injury will attest to that, but the Ukrainian playmaker is still short of being able to complete a full 90 minutes. 

As Sugrue put it. “The fans have been brilliant all year and I know when the team is losing It is tough but it would be different if they were coming to watch a game with long balls over the top or just chasing them but we’re trying to play the right football and create the right chances.”

“There is also some really exciting players in this team. Dolia is exciting to watch, Sean O’Connell is in great form at the moment, we have good young players and obviously, we should look at the age, Antonio (Tuta) is our oldest player at 27, next is Kevin (Williams) at 24, people have to realise too that these boys haven’t played at this level for a long time.” 

“We don’t have the age profile of other teams where they’re 27 up to 30, where half the team can drag them along on the pitch when things are bad.” 

“I believe in them, we believe in them as the coaching staff and we’ll keep doing the right things and keep trying to get the best out of them.” 

The lack of experience at this level is something that Sugrue said the club are currently looking to address with the transfer window opening very shortly. 

“You always need to see what areas of the team we can improve on, we are looking at two or three (players) at the moment where they have a bit of experience, they might not be the oldest but they have the experience of playing in the league and that’s all that matters. Once you have a certain amount of games under your belt it brings massive experience, you don’t have that bit of nervousness when things are going wrong” 

The main problem for the side this season has been the lack of goals, with just twelve scored in sixteen league games to this point, it’s clear that things are not going to plan in the final third, but they have not been without their chances. The hope for the club is that bringing in that experience, including mastering some of the dark arts of the game, will see results change in their favour. 

A lot of the statistical comparisons between this year and last should give people some hope and belief in this side. 

The home comforts of Mounthawk Park have been of benefit so far this season, with nine of their twelve goals being scored in Tralee. They have also picked up five points at home this season, and with another ten games to play is already equal to their total from Mounthawk last year. 

A huge aspect of why this team is much more competitive this year is their defensive record. After 16 games last season, the Kingdom had conceded a massive 47 goals, helped by the nine shipped to Galway away and six to Wexford at home, but of those games eight times they conceded three goals of more. This season it is just 21 goals against, an average of 1.3 a game compared to the 2.9 at this stage last year. 

It is a results-based business, and nobody wants to be sitting at the bottom of the league but it is important to remember that this club playing in the Men’s First Division this time two years ago was more a dream than a reality, and the improvements already based on last season are enough to continue to support the club as they build towards being competitive and ultimately bringing results and trophies. 

26-year-old TV, Radio, and New Media graduate from MTU Kerry based in the Kingdom with a passion for a variety of sports.

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