Sacked Halifax Town boss Darren Kelly claims his ‘hands were tied’

Former Halifax Town boss, Darren Kelly will take time out before making his next move.

Former Halifax Town boss, Darren Kelly will take time out before making his next move.

  • Ex Derry defender Darren Kelly claims he has no regrets about taking the Halifax Town job
  • The Creggan man was sacked after just 10 games in charge of the Shaymen
  • Kelly claims the job was an uphill struggle as the club didn’t have the facilities to allow for evening training sessions
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FORMER Derry City defender, Darren Kelly has broken his silence about his shock sacking by Halifax Town, claiming his ‘hands were tied’ as the club lacked the facilities to allow him to do his job properly.

The Creggan man parted ways with the English National League outfit two weeks ago after just 10 games, leaving the club languishing perilously at the foot of the table.

Derry is a club I’ve always wanted to manage, there’s no doubt about that but it’s all about the timing. I spent the best years in the League of Ireland with Derry.

Darren Kelly

Under Kelly the ‘Shaymen’ conceded 37 goals, including two matches in which they conceded seven times – against Cheltenham at home and visiting Grimsby Town. They lost 6-3 at home to Braintree Town in what proved to be his last game in charge.

It was incredibly the Derry man’s second sacking in the space of three months after his rein at League One club, Oldham came to an abrupt end in October.

And while Kelly insists he has no regrets about taking the Halifax job so soon after leaving Oldham, he will take time out before rushing back to management.

“You have to move on,” said Kelly. “It’s a tough industry and I’ll think long and hard about my next move.

“There’s a lot more things going on in the world to be dwelling on.”

Kelly claimed the time he spent with the entire Halifax squad was restricted due to the part-time nature of the club and he bemoaned the fact he was unable to get his team together for training sessions throughout his short tenure.

“I’m a coach at the end of the day and I’m a very hands-on coach. When you’re managing you want to be professional and do the best you can.

“The situation at Halifax, we were training just twice a week and we didn’t have the facilities to train at night. I wasn’t able to get the full team in together to train and to work on shape and things like that which I found very frustrating.

“It was difficult to get the full squad into training at the same time” he continued. “We were sometimes six or seven ‘first teamers’ down and I was struggling.

“That was just one of a number of things to be honest,” he added. “There were days when I was on the phone for hours trying to get a facility for even one night a week to train when everyone was there and I couldn’t get it.

“It was an uphill struggle to get the players to train because of the fact they couldn’t train at night and they were part-time. It wasn’t the players’ fault.

“The training situation was the most frustrating thing and it had an effect on performances.”

Did he think he rushed into taking the post?

“No, I don’t think I rushed into it,” stated Kelly. “My hands were well and truly tied. But it was a mutual decision (to leave) because I just couldn’t continue to do what I was doing.

“If you can’t get the team together to train and work on different aspects it makes it a struggle and the results reflected that.

“If I had of got the training right I believe I would have turned things around on the pitch.”

No Regrets

Kelly will now take time out of the game before contemplating his next move.

“I know my strengths and I’m a very good, hands-on coach. But it’s back to the drawing board for me.

“I think my next project will involve coaching, something similar to what I had previously at Sunderland.

“I won’t sit and sulk. I have absolutely no regrets. I give it my all and that’s all you can ask for.

And while claims he would one day love to return to his hometown club, Derry City to manage the ‘Candy Stripes’, he ruled out a return to manage in Ireland in the near future.

“I don’t see myself heading back to Ireland any time soon. Managing Derry City would always appeal to me as it’s my hometown club.

“Derry is a club I’ve always wanted to manage, there’s no doubt about that but it’s all about the timing.

“I spent my best years in the League of Ireland with Derry.

“So if I ever got the opportunity to go back there and manage it would be absolutely amazing.”

Kelly admits he keeps an eye on Derry City’s progress and wished manager, Kenny Shiels all the best in the forthcoming season.

“I wish Kenny Shiels all the very best next season he’s a great man and I know the Derry support will get behind him.”