Religion not a factor for Linfield-linked Fenlon

Tue, Feb 18 2014

Fenlon with Richie Sadlier and Rebecca Creagh Credit: Sportsfile

Pat Fenlon dismissed the likelihood of difficulties that might arise if the Dublin man was to take the reins of Northern Irish side Linfield.


Yesterday the Belfast Telegraph reported that Fenlon, a Catholic, was linked with taking over the job when current manager David Jeffery steps down.


However, Fenlon was also quick to point out that he had not had any contact.


“It’s a club I have great time for; it’s a club that, if I had to say what the best one to play for was, it would be them. I haven’t had any contact though from Linfield even though I spoke to Jeffery not too long ago.


“There wouldn’t be any problem with the religious differences either. I was up at a Q&A not too long ago with the fans and they were great.”


Fenlon, whose last job in football was with Scottish side Hibernian, is taking his time measuring each option.


In the meantime, he is making sure to keep an eye on the Airtricity League.


In recent times the flow of talent from Ireland to overseas has reversed with Stephen McPhail and Keith Fahey opting to come back to play for their local sides.


Fenlon sees this development as a step forward for the league but ultimately a lot more work has to be done.


“When I was manager of Hibs I took a few lads from the under 17’s over to Stella Maris and ultimately what they could get that they couldn’t in Ireland was full time football.


“That is the biggest stumbling block for Irish football at the moment that ultimately there is very few full time clubs for young lads to play in.”


Fenlon was speaking at an event to mark the Brendan McKenna Memorial competition which offers young writers a chance to win a work placement with a leading journalist. Now its fifth year, the competition was created in memory of former Evening Press journalist and FAI media officer Brendan McKenna, and is open to any student in third-level education aiming to break into sports journalism.


The winner will receive a cash prize and a chance to shadow one of the country's top football journalists on an international match-day for the Republic of Ireland, while also gaining invaluable experience.  For further information on how to apply for the competition, visit www.swai.ie