Perth takes on mantle from Stephen Kenny

by Dave Donnelly

Killinarden’s Vinny Perth has been confirmed as the successor to Stephen Kenny as head coach of League of Ireland champions Dundalk.

The 42-year-old succeeds Kenny as head honcho at Oriel Park after his fellow Tallaght man left to take over Ireland Under-21s with a view to becoming senior coach in 2020.

The former defender was brought in as assistant manager when Kenny took over the Lilywhites in 2012 and the pair guided the club to an unprecedented four titles in six seasons.

It’s no small act to follow, then, for Perth, who will be assisted by the former Dundalk boss John Gill as he has yet to obtain the full UEFA Pro License required to manage at this level.

Former Derry City midfielder Ruaidhri Harkin has also been as Perth’s assistant head coach, while onetime Shamrock Rovers caretaker boss Gill will assume first-team coaching duties.

“I am excited by the challenges ahead, namely defending our League of Ireland and FAI Cup trophies, and embarking on another European campaign,” Perth said.

“I’d like to thank the chairman, and the rest of the board, for showing faith in myself, Ruaidhri and John, as well as for their great support on and off the pitch.

“I feel strongly that continuity is the key to taking Dundalk Football Club forward, a view that the board also share.”

Perth and Gill have worked together previously, when the pair were involved in the management set-up at Leinster Senior League side Malahide United before Perth took up the role with Dundalk.

“I look forward to working with all the staff at the club, and I particularly wish to welcome John Gill back in his new role.

“As first-team coach, John is someone who will bring vital experience, hard work and dedication to the club.

“John and I have shared football ideas and philosophies for many years and I am excited to work with him. John brings a huge level of experience to the management team.”

Perth has served a long apprenticeship in coaching since hanging up his playing boots back in 2007 to take up a role as Aaron Callaghan’s assistant at Longford Town.

He managed Longford until the end of 2008 following Callaghan’s resignation before spending two seasons as manager of Malahide before receiving the call from Kenny.

It was Kenny who had originally taken him to Longford back in 1998, where Perth was a key part of the side that won the only two FAI Cups in the club’s history and took them into Europe.

He also spent time with Shamrock Rovers, St Patrick’s Athletic and Dundalk during a decorated playing career that had begun in Dublin with his local schoolboy side Cherry Orchard.

“I would like to stress to all supporters of Dundalk Football Club, that all the planning and preparation is well underway as we embark on our pre-season schedule.

“After a gruelling but highly successful campaign in 2018, everyone at the club is motivated and ready to get going again.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all of our supporters in February for our first league game against Sligo.”

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