Carrara coach implements 36 years of experience

Simon Kenny’s football resume is as long as his arm.

The Carrara Saints playing coach has been involved in football for over 36 years, and it all began from the other side of the fence.

“I was nine years old and I just wanted to play. My uncles use to take me to the Port Melbourne games as a young boy and my love grew from there,” Kenny said.

After moving to Brisbane at 11, he found a home at the Sherwood Districts Football Club.

Selection in the All Australian School Boys team in 1986, as well as being picked for the All Australian Teal Cup team the following year highlighted a decorated junior career.

None of it would have been possible without the commitment and support of his Mum.

“Mum and Dad were divorced when I was young and it was her that took me to all the junior training,” he said.

“When I was playing senior football she would drive me from the south side of Brisbane to the north side of Brisbane, watch me train then drive us home. She did that for two years, an amazing lady!”

After an eight-year stint at Kedron/Wilston Grange, which included a QAFL grand final appearance in 1994, Kenny packed his bags and moved to the North Albury Football Club.

It was here that Kenny experienced his proudest football moment. In 1999, the premiership drought was broken.

“I was lucky enough to captain the team, and aside from the birth of my girls, it was the proudest day of my life,” Kenny said.

“I played in my first senior grand final in what would be my last game of QAFL before I moved down to Albury. We were beaten by less than a kick and my contribution was lousy.

“I promised myself that if I was ever fortunate enough to play in another one I definitely wouldn’t make the same mistakes. Oh how sweet it was.”

The father of five’s coaching career began in 2001 when he was appointed playing coach of the Brocklesby Football Club.

He went on to coach Jindera, Finley and North Albury before moving back to the Gold Coast last year to take the reigns at Carrara.

His coaching philosophy is a simple one.

“I love the game and if I can pass on anything I have learnt in the past 36 years to make these young men both better players but also better men, then I have done my job,” he said.

“Knowing that they are also humans and they will make mistakes. How we react to our mistakes will define what type of footballer we become.”

After nabbing the four wins in 2014, Carrara currently sit sixth on the ladder, with one win and two losses.

The Saints can rest up this weekend with the bye, before taking on Park Ridge at home on May 16.

By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles

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