Football/Soccer

Fermanagh man Kieran McKenna takes up Manchester United role

Kieran McKenna from Enniskillen, who has left Tottenham Hotspur to to take up a coaching role at Manchester United

FERMANAGH man Kieran McKenna is reported to have taken up a coaching role at Manchester United, having been snapped up from Tottenham Hotspur.

The 30-year-old was on the books at White Hart Lane for seven years before a persistent hip problem forced him to retire from playing in 2009. However, he went to Loughborough University to study sport science and worked through his coaching badges at Spurs, where he carved out an impressive reputation, most recently in charge of their U18 side, who reached the FA Youth Cup semi-finals last season.

That work caught the eye of Manchester United, who are restructuring their youth set-up under former player Nicky Butt. Interestingly, new Old Trafford boss Jose Mourinho also boosted the career of another Irishman, namely current Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, when he persuaded him to leave Reading to join the Chelsea set-up in 2004.

McKenna played for Enniskillen Town and Ballinamallard United before moving to Spurs and also represented Northern Ireland at all underage levels, including captaining their U21s.

At the time, his playing career ended, Spurs development coach Clive Allen said: "He is a player and person that you know, every single day,  whether training or playing, was 100 per cent committed about everything he did.

"That is why it is so disappointing and sad that he suffered an injury that has curtailed his career. Knowing the lad and the type of person he is, he will do very well in whatever he decides to do."

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Football/Soccer