Stephen Kenny (footballer)

Stephen Kenny
Personal information
Full name Stephen Kenny
Date of birth (1971-10-30) 30 October 1971
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Club information
Current team
Dundalk (manager)
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994 Home Farm 4 (0)
Teams managed
1998–2001 Longford Town
2001–2004 Bohemians
2004–2006 Derry City
2006–2007 Dunfermline Athletic
2008–2011 Derry City
2012 Shamrock Rovers
2013– Dundalk

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Stephen Kenny (born 30 October 1971) is the current manager of Dundalk in the League of Ireland and former manager of Bohemians, Longford Town, Derry City, Dunfermline Athletic and Shamrock Rovers. He is one of Ireland's most successful ever managers having won 14 trophies by his 44th birthday, and boasts extensive experience in European competition as well as aiding in the development of several of the Republic of Ireland Euro 2016 squad.[1]

Early life

Kenny grew up in Tallaght and lived there for the first 18 years of his life.[2] He attended Our Lady of Loreto Boys National School and Old Bawn Community School.[3] Kenny ran a successful meat-production business in the late 1990s before moving into football management full-time.[4]

Playing career

During his playing career, Kenny spent two years at Belvedere as a schoolboy before signing for St Patrick's Athletic. Without making an appearance he then transferred to Home Farm, playing just 4 games in the League of Ireland First Division making his League of Ireland debut on 13 March 1994.

Managerial career


Kenny began his managerial career with St Patrick's Athletic when he took charge of the Dublin side's Under 21 side in the Athletic Union League. His first year was successful as St. Pats won the league and in the summer of 1998, Kenny became the youngest manager in National League history when he took over Longford Town at the age of 27. He led Longford to huge success during his three-year tenure as they won promotion to the League of Ireland Premier Division, reached an FAI Cup final and subsequently, qualified for the UEFA Cup.

In December 2001, Kenny left the midlands club and became manager of Bohemians. Taking over at Dalymount Park. Bohemians were then the champions of the Eircom League, having won the Double the previous season. However, the club was in something of a crisis, having parted ways with their league-winning manager, Roddy Collins, in the summer, his successor Pete Mahon struggling after an excellent start to the season. Kenny's impact at Bohemians was immediate, as the side steadily moved away from the lower end of the league table and reached that year's FAI Cup final. However, the season was to end in bitter disappointment, as Bohemians were beaten 2–1 by Dundalk FC, a club which had been relegated from the top flight the previous week. This was Kenny's second FAI Cup final defeat in as many seasons. In the close season Kenny made some changes to the first team squad, and the 2002/2003 season saw Bohemians win the Premier Division title, leading from start to finish. The following season they finished runners-up to Shelbourne FC. In the 2004 season Bohemians began poorly and after 3 months found themselves in 3rd place. Kenny's job was insecure and he was sacked on 27 July 2004, following Bohemians' 3–1 home defeat in the UEFA Cup to Estonian side FC Levadia Tallinn. His league record at Bohemians was 49 wins in 96 games.

After just three weeks out of the game, Kenny returned to management at Derry City following the sacking of Gavin Dykes, and took over from caretaker manager, Peter Hutton. His time at the club has been hugely successful and he has been credited for turning a team, battling against relegation in the 2004 season, into one which challenged for the Premier Division title in 2005, finishing runners-up.

He also guided Derry City to their first advancement in European competition in over 40 years (the last seeing Lyn Oslo being knocked out) Derry qualified for the UEFA Cup by finishing runners-up in the Premier Division in the 2005 season. On 13 July 2006, Derry overcame two time winners IFK Göteborg in the UEFA Cup first qualifying round 2–0 on aggregate. A 79th-minute header from Sean Hargan was enough to give Derry a shock win[5] in the first leg, and Stephen O'Flynn ensured a 1–0 home victory from the penalty spot. Manager Stephen Kenny was delighted with the win stating:

They have won the UEFA Cup twice and only a few years ago were in the group stages of the Champions League so this is a great night for everyone connected with Derry City. We were worthy winners. It is not as if we got a goal and held on. I think we played the better football.[6]

This marked Derry City's first progression in European football since defeating Lyn Oslo more than 40 years ago.

Derry City were subsequently drawn against Scottish second-level side Gretna in the second qualifying round. On 10 August 2006, Derry claimed a 5–1 away win to gain a considerable advantage going into the home leg. This result is the largest away winning margin for a League of Ireland team in Europe.[7] Following a 2–2 home draw with Gretna F.C. in the second leg and a 7–3 win on aggregate, Derry advanced to the UEFA Cup First round. In the draw, held on 25 August 2006, Derry City were handed a tough tie against Paris Saint-Germain FC.

The first leg was played at home at Brandywell Stadium on the evening of 14 September 2006 and ended in a hard fought 0–0 draw, a magnificent result for the battling Derry side. The second leg was played at Parc des Princes on 28 September. Paris St. Germain won the second leg 2–0 with goals from Pauleta and Edouard Cisse.

He remained in charge of Derry City until 17 November 2006 for their final league game before moving to Dunfermline Athletic. Derry finished second in the league behind Shelbourne, who had a stronger goal difference. Kenny then made a remarkable return to Derry City to manage the club for the FAI Cup final win against St. Patrick's Athletic.[8]

Kenny's total managerial record at Derry included 112 games managed, 65 games won, 29 games drawn, 18 games lost, 170 goals for, 80 goals against and 57 clean sheets. His win percentage was 58%. During his time in charge, a total of 32 players represented the club, and 7 players that he managed went on to represent their country at international level.[9]


Kenny was confirmed as the new Dunfermline Athletic manager on 10 November 2006[10] and took up his position on 18 November 2006 where he was to watch Dunfermline's game against Dundee United from the stand[11] An interview was done upon his arrival at the club by stv.

Following his departure from the League of Ireland, his contributions during the 2006 season were still recognised by eircom / Soccer Writers Association of Ireland (SWAI) who nominated the former Derry manager for their 'Personality of the Year' award on 13 December 2006.

Kenny won his first game as Dunfermline manager 9 games into his Pars career – a 3–2 Scottish Cup 3rd round win over Rangers at East End Park. In January 2007, Kenny brought in Jim O'Brien, Adam Hammill, Bobby Ryan, Jamie Harris and Stephen Glass to the club and later brought in released Falkirk striker Tam McManus.

Kenny and his coaching team led Dunfermline to the Scottish Cup Final on 24 April 2007 with a 1–0 win over Hibernian in the Semi final replay then losing to Celtic in the final 1–0. He was unable, however, to prevent the club being relegated from the Premier League. A 2–1 defeat at Inverness CT, coupled with St Mirren's 3–2 win at Motherwell saw the Fife club relegated to the First Division, despite having previously won four league games in a row.

After relegation to the Scottish Football League Kenny's reign was less successful. Losses to BK Häcken of Sweden in the UEFA Cup, Heart of Midlothian in the CIS Cup and several humiliating defeats in the league left Dunfermline significantly behind the leading teams in the First Division and cost him his job, in spite of a run to the lower-league Scottish Challenge Cup Final.

After one year in charge, on 4 December 2007, Kenny was sacked as Dunfermline Athletic manager. Striker Jim McIntyre – injured for much of Kenny's reign – took charge as caretaker of the club.[12]

Return to Ireland

Following his departure from Dunfermline Athletic and the sacking of Derry City manager John Robertson, Kenny was strongly linked with a return to the League of Ireland club.

Derry City

In his first spell, Kenny guided Derry to the FAI Cup, two League Cups and through two UEFA Cup rounds, including defeating former UEFA cup winners IFK Göteborg home and away, and thrashing then Scottish giant killers Gretna only to be knocked out of the competition by an away defeat by Paris Saint-Germain. They were also pipped for the league crown on the final day of the season on two occasions.

Kenny was confirmed to have returned to Derry City on 28 December 2007.[13]

After being removed from the Premier Division for entering administration Kenny stayed on as Derry Manager and guided them back to the top after winning the First Division in one season.

Shamrock Rovers

On Christmas Eve 2011, Kenny resigned from Derry City after Shamrock Rovers moved to fill the vacant managers job at the club, replacing Michael O'Neill. This was confirmed on the 27 December.[14]

Kenny took over a club that had won the League of Ireland two years in a row and had qualified for the group stages of the previous year's Europa League. However the 2012 season proved to be a disaster for Kenny and Rovers, crashing out of Europe to Lithuanian side Ekranas and slumping to fourth place in the league table. In September 2012, two months before the end of the season and after a Dublin derby defeat to Bohemians, Shamrock Rovers sacked Stephen Kenny on the 11 September 2012.[15]


On 21 November 2012 Kenny was named as the new Dundalk manager on a two-year contract.[16][17] In the 2013 season he guided Dundalk to second place in the league. The following season Dundalk won a double consisting of the League and League Cup.

The 2015 season was another successful one for Kenny, as Dundalk won both the League and the FAI Cup.[18]

On 2 August 2016, Kenny led Dundalk to a 3-1 aggregate win over BATE Borisov in the Champions League, leaving Dundalk just one win away from making the group stages of the competition.[19]

Dundalk fell to Legia Warsaw in the final playoff round and failed to reach the group stages of the Champions League, but they were already guaranteed a place in the Europa League group stages. Dundalk were drawn in Group D with Zenit St. Petersburg, AZ Alkmaar and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Dundalk began the group stages with an away tie at Alkmaar and become the first Irish club side ever to earn a point in the group stages of European competition. This was followed by a historic 1-0 home win over Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Managerial statistics

As of 24 November 2016
Team Nat From To Record
Longford Town Republic of Ireland 1998 7 December 2001 157 63 54 40 40.13
Bohemians Republic of Ireland 10 December 2001 27 July 2004 96 49 18 29 51.04
Derry City Republic of Ireland 19 August 2004 2006 112 65 18 29 58.04
Dunfermline Athletic Scotland 13 November 2006 4 December 2007 50 15 11 24 30.00
Derry City Republic of Ireland 28 December 2007 24 December 2011 181 93 49 39 51.38
Shamrock Rovers Republic of Ireland 27 December 2011 11 September 2012 37 19 6 12 51.35
Dundalk Republic of Ireland 21 November 2012 Present 194 127 31 36 65.46
Total 827 431 187 209 52.12
Includes competitive games only.





  1. Cowzer, Owen. "Ste's glee for three". Irish Sun. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  2. Doyle, Garry. "Kenny well on the way to exorcising his Rovers demons". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  3. Malone, Emmet. "Dundalk's success further proof of Stephen Kenny's talents". Irish Times. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  4. Doyle, Garry. "Kenny: I considered quitting football after Rovers sacking". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  5. IFK Gothenburg 0–1 Derry City Retrieved 16 July 2006
  6. Kenny salutes his Derry heroes Retrieved 16 July 2006
  7. Slack Gretna given cruel lesson by five-star Derry It is also the heaviest home defeat recorded of any Scottish team in European competition. Stephen Halliday, Retrieved 12 August 2006
  8. "Derry see off St Pat's in decider". BBC Sport website. 3 December 2006.
  9. McDonnell, Daniel. "'It's great to have Martin O'Neill saying things like that about a League of Ireland player' - Daryl Horgan". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  10. "Kenny appointed Dunfermline boss". BBC Sport website. 10 November 2006.
  11. "Dunfermline 2–1 Dundee Utd". BBC Sport website. 18 November 2006.
  12. "Pars part company with boss Kenny". BBC News. 4 December 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2007.
  13. "Kenny returns as Derry City boss". BBC News. 28 December 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  17. "Stephen Kenny confirmed as new Dundalk manager". RTÉ Sport. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  18. "Dundalk do the double with extra-time FAI Cup win". RTÉ Sport. 8 November 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  20. "Stephen Kenny up for fourth PFAI Manager of the Year award in a row". RTÉ Sport. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  21. Power, Bairbre. "Irish Tatler Man 'Men of the Year' awards - Kennedy, Kenny and McMahon among winners". Irish Independent. Retrieved 16 October 2016.

External links

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