Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Kenny and Dunfermline Step into the Unknown

When Dunfermline take on form side Aberdeen on Saturday new boss Stephen Kenny will take the reigns for the first time.

It says much for the way that the travails of Rangers and Hearts have dictated the media agenda that Kenny’s appointment has been, to say the least, overshadowed.

Jim Jefferies has already complained this season that ‘other teams’ – like Jefferies’ Kilmarnock and Kenny’s Pars – are overlooked by the football press.

But slipping under the radar is maybe just what Kenny and his new employers would want.

A team propping up the SPL, with huge injury problems, that failed to respond to Jim Leishman’s motivational skills does not suggest a happy East End Park.

Yet the board have gone for a manager that has no experience of the SPL. His track record is said to have impressed. Yet that track record has come in Ireland – not, with all respect, a top European league.

Finances are tight at Dunfermline. And it is doubtful if Kenny’s availability and low profile didn’t make him attractive for the bean counters as well as the football men on the board.

And yet, just maybe, Dunfermline have pulled off a masterstroke. The board will be hoping that by plucking Kenny from obscurity they can trigger something similar to Tony Mowbray’s revolution at Hibs.

Some of the signs are good. The bottom of the league is incredibly tight and Dunfermline – when they come through the other end of this injury crisis – have a larger and more experienced squad than, say, Motherwell or St Mirren.

It will take a few games to really get an idea about what kind of manager Kenny will be. That Dunfermline have turned their backs on the Duffy,Williamson Largs mafia-type choice means that both he and his side deserve some good luck in the meantime.