Kerr not going North from Faroes

BRIAN KERR has dampened speculation linking him to the vacant Northern Ireland role after it was confirmed yesterday he will step down as manager of the Faroe Islands when his contract expires next month.

Kerr admitted one of his own comments had partly fuelled the speculation that he was Belfast-bound but indicated yesterday he would now take time before making any decisions about his future in the game.

“The Northern Ireland one has been mentioned to me previously,” he told RTÉ, “and I said in jest at the time that I would take it tomorrow — I wouldn’t be given it tomorrow!

“I said it in a way that I didn’t really mean it to take any legs at the time.

“When things settle down in the next couple of months after I’ve attended to some of the stuff I want to do around Ireland I might start looking for something again but I’m not going to in the short term.”

With the Faroes FA saying they were saddened by his decision to leave, Kerr admitted that it was strange for a manager to turn down a contract extension in these difficult times.

“But I’m happy enough with it,” he said.

“We gave it a good go over the last three years. It’s been all consuming for me and I gave it the best I could. I spent a lot of time in the Faroes, Iceland and Denmark and in England watching players who were eligible for us.

“It’s tough enough going as it’s a day for me to get to the Faroes and a day for me to get back. It’s come to that situation now where I had to make a decision one way or the other.

“The other thing with the Faroes,” he added, “is I don’t know how much further I could have taken them.

“It was a very difficult job. We had some very good results and some very special days there. In terms of moving it on to the next level, I’m not sure the association would have agreed with me in terms of how to push it on and the investment that might be needed to make that happen.”

Meanwhile, Jim Magilton and Iain Dowie continue to top the list of bookies’ favourites to take over the Northern Ireland job.

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