Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Kenny can't get over sacking at Killie but is preparing for a new club

Cup win: Kenny Shiels with son Dean and the Scottish League Cup

Kenny Shiels remains shellshocked by his sacking at Scottish Premier League Kilmarnock two months ago.

At the time of his dismissal the County Londonderry man said that he had been left heartbroken by the Ayrshire club's decision – and over seven weeks later the pain is still there.

Despite ending a 10-year trophy famine at Rugby Park when they beat Celtic in the 2012 Scottish League Cup final, Shiels' repeated run-ins with the authorities – which resulted in a number of touchline bans – cost him his job.

The former Coleraine and Ballymena United boss, however, still can't understand why he was given the boot when he felt things on the pitch were going well.

"In football you never know what's round the corner," said Shiels.

"I have met a lot of people in the game, some very good people, but I have also worked under two really bad chairmen in my career and how they have handled things defies logic.

"What happened to me at Kilmarnock just doesn't add up. I can't comprehend it and I can't get over it.

"I could comes to terms with it if I understood the reasons why, but there is just no logic behind them."

Shiels has always been the optimistic type. A 'glass half full' kind of person.

He takes just as much pride from the fact that so many young players broke through to the first team at Kilmarnock as he does the League Cup success.

He also prefers to look ahead rather than back and he is hungry to make a return to management as soon as an opportunity arises.

"I do want to get back into work, but like every other manager who isn't in a job I am waiting for someone else to lose theirs before an opportunity comes along," said Shiels.

"It's cruel and it's a hard business, but that's the way football works – there is very little sentiment.

"I have never been out of work before and I don't intend for it to last long, although I won't rush into the next job that comes up.

"You see the high turnover in football management – a lot of managers don't get the time they need to make things work – and jobs come up all the time, but everything will have to be right for me before I go into another job."

Rather that sitting in his home outside Glasgow waiting for the phone to ring, Shiels is about to embark on ventures to Europe that he hopes will ready him for a return to the dugout.

Even though he is now 57-years-old Shiels is keen to develop his knowledge and he has employed modern coaching methods at every club he has been with.

Hence the reason why a trip to Switzerland and another to Spain are on the cards until another club comes calling.

"I am going to Europe in the next couple of weeks to do some coaching and watch some coaches as well," said Shiels.

"I am going over to Switzerland next week to see how things are done at FC Sion.

"Christophe Moulin, who was the Irish FA county coach in Fermanagh for a while, is Swiss and he is back there now.

"He has invited me over and I am very interested in seeing what structures they have in place.

"I am hopefully going to Spain as well to see what, if anything, they do differently there and hopefully I can learn more from these trips.

"I wouldn't want to sit around and I want to be well prepared to take another job."

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