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Shane Keegan on chaos at Dundalk: 'I was never qualified to be manager'

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

21:58 6 May 2021


Former Dundalk manager Shane Keegan joined us to explain a complicated arrangement with the club, and why he was left frustrated over a 'crazy' transfer policy.

Keegan's role evolved from being a part-time opposition analyst under Vinny Perth, to fronting Dundalk in Europa League games at Arsenal.

Keegan said that he should never have been remotely close to the managerial position.

Shane Keegan

"I shouldn't be the Dundalk manager, I never wanted to be the Dundalk manager, I never expected to be the Dundalk manager, I'm not qualified to be the Dundalk manager. Just because I have a Pro Licence doesn't mean I should be the Dundalk manager," Keegan said.

"Dundalk are still, to my mind, the biggest club in the entire country. Someone with a CV like shouldn't be within an ass' roar of getting the Dundalk manager's job. Absolutely not. They should be going for the best of the best that is out there now they are in a position to do that and I suspect that's what they'll do.

"That has to be taken into account first. Do I back myself and want to get back involved in the manner I did at Wexford? 100%. I've had a few ups and downs over the last few years but I back myself. But I don't have the CV to be Dundalk manager.

"On the flip side, I certainly did say that if my name is going to be front-and-centre then I'm going to have to have a bit more involvement than I'd expect."

He was thought to be 'fronting' for Filippo Giovagnoli, who lacked the correct coaching qualifications for the role.

"Filippo was offered a job, you can't blame him for taking it. But there are certain things going against Filippo that he can't have done much about. By his own admission, it's the first adult team he's managed and he's coming into a league that he doesn't know much about.

"It is very tough for him to do the job to a standard that's required. He would have made the point to me early that he has a very clear philosophy and if I'm not able to fall in line then it's going to be difficult to work. You can't force yourself into believing in a certain way of doing things.

"My natural way of doing things would have been very, very different."

'Crazy' transfers

It was in part disagreements over transfer policy that led to Keegan leaving Dundalk on 17 April.

"It really is crazy the players that have been allowed to leave the club. There are still good players there with the likes of Patrick McEleney, Chris Shiels, Michael Duffy. There was no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater - there was no need to overreact," Keegan said.

"They hadn't performed to the level that they had in the previous season but there was a number of reasons for that. But I challenge anyone to tell me that Seán Hoare isn't one of the very best around - he is a class act. The same can be applied to Ganno and so many of the other players.

"I would have found that particularly frustrating because you lose your identity. You have to lose your identity. I think sometimes maybe there was a perception that I was 'anti-foreigner' and I wasn't, I absolutely wasn't. A couple of the signings they have made have been good lads. Their attitudes are excellent.

"I just thought that losing that Irishness out the side... a guy like John Mountney, for example. What you see from John Mountney for 90 minutes is about 20% of what he contributes to Dundalk. He was a phenomenal presence around that dressing room. You never got less than 100% from him.

"I fought tooth and nail to explain how much of a loss his presence was. There was more to him to than just the 90 minutes - and that's what happens when you lose those players, you lose more than just their performances."

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