Dylan Kerr once signed for Kaizer ChiefsThomas Kwenaite
Article by Mandla & Andile Dladla
Dylan Kerr is a coach that is always well spoken of, be it by players he has worked with or the whole backroom staff.This indicates that he has developed over the years into a much sought after coach and manager.
“As a former professional player you have to trust and respect the people that you are working for,” he said. “I have won so many trophies both as a player and now as a coach, I have won three trophies, two in Kenya, one in Vietnam and keeping two Limpopo teams in the PSL which is kind of like winning a trophy.
“Again it is down to trust because you got to believe in your players, go to training with a plan and make the players enjoy it. You have to create and get a good vibe in training so that you establish a good environment on the football field,” says the mentor from Scotland.
All he ever wanted to do was play the game. He would watch his dad’s Sunday local football social club play and immediately got the bug that he one day wanted to be a professional at the highest level from the age of five.
He did not however encounter a smooth sailing journey.Just as smooth waters never made skilled sailors. Forever being told that he was never good enough and would never make it.
From the age of eleven he kept on believing in himself until the age of sixteen where he joined his dad’s semi professional team. It was on a Saturday where he was playing his normal game not aware to the fact that a Sheffield Wednesday scout was sitting on the stands watching.
To this day he is glad that the scout was present that day as he got himself a trial at Sheffield for a month which led to him being offered a one year apprenticeship contract and after that signed his first professional contract at the age of seventeen for Sheffield Wednesday back in 1985. He took the original contract and made copies for all the people who said he would never make it and delivered them a copy each door to door.
“My football is my family”, said the former Leeds United player who made the choice a long time ago to make football his everything. “It has enabled me the chance to travel to Asia and across Africa spending six months in Tanzania, eighteen months in Kenya and four years in Vietnam.”
The players he has worked with are his children and family because of the relationships he has built. Also having the chance to work in America was a great experience.
The love for football is through his tattoos which he says played and play an important role in his life.
“The first tattoo was Kilmarnock football club when we won the Scottish Cup which was massive for the club as a whole and most importantly the supporters because the last time the club had won it was in 1965.”
He went to a friend’s bachelor party in Dublin for three days and was totally out because of the number or beer bottles they had consumed. Accompanying his good friend who was going to get himself a Kilmarnock tatoo on his leg, Dylan passed out on the tattoo chair and woke up to the surprise that the tattoo artist was giving him a Kilmarnock tattoo on his leg too. He is glad that to this day he did it.
Few people are aware that Kerr was a flying left fullback and overlapping down the flank was his forte while turning out for defunct Arcadia Shepherds under the guidance of Stan Lapot and Roy Matthews.
He created such an impression in the two seasons that he played for the Pretoria side that then Kaizer Chiefs coach Ted Dumitru signed him for the Amakhosi at the end of the season.
But as fate would have it, he went home to Britain for the off-season holidays and while there, got offered a contract by Leeds United and it turned out to be Amakhosi’s loss and Leeds United’s gain.
After winning the league and his first with Kenyan giant Gor Marhia he went for one more tattoo and two became three and many more followed after that with the last two being Baroka FC and Black Leopards FC. Although he did not win any silverware with both teams respectively, he says keeping them in the PSL was bigger than winning a trophy.