Celtic and Brighton’s ‘forgotten man' hopes Airdrie move will propel his career

Highly rated defender, Josh Kerr pictured celebrating a goal for Celtic U20s against Hibs during his four year stint at Parkhead.
Highly rated defender, Josh Kerr pictured celebrating a goal for Celtic U20s against Hibs during his four year stint at Parkhead.

JOSH KERR hopes his move to the Scottish Championship with Airdrie will thrust him back into the spotlight as he looks to kick-start his career following his release from Brighton.

The former Celtic youngster reckons he’s become a forgotten man since moving away from Parkhead, where he spent four years, to sign for Premiership club Brighton in 2017.

He agreed on a loan move to the SSE Airtricity League with Derry City from the Seagulls last January as he looked to gain valuable experience which would help further his career in England.

Kerr was afforded limited game-time under Declan Devine, however, as he attempted to get to grips with the Irish game and as his six month loan spell came to an end he was informed that his contract with Brighton wouldn’t be extended.

While he did contemplate remaining on Foyleside until the end of the season, the 21 year-old felt the chance to resurrect his career in Scotland, where he felt he could raise his profile, was his best option.

“At 21 I feel I need to be playing regular first team football,” said Kerr who watched Derry City’s friendly defeat to Cliftonville at Brandywell on Friday night before saying his goodbyes. “My aim is to play at the highest level in Scotland or England and I don’t think playing in Ireland really fell into my plans.

Kerr pictured in January when he joined Derry City on loan from Brighton.

Kerr pictured in January when he joined Derry City on loan from Brighton.

“So for me I need to be back over in Scotland or England and working myself up and proving to people what I can do.

“A lot of people haven’t seen me since I left Celtic so it’s a case of fresh eyes again. I’m staying full-time at Airdrie in a good league so hopefully I can work myself up.

“A lot of people will think the move is about going back home but it’s basically about getting regular first team football whether that was near home or in England, it didn’t bother me. It’s more a football decision at this stage.

“It’s a tough league and is probably quite similar to here but only at the bottom of the Championship.

Josh Kerr pictured after signing a deal with Premiership club, Brighton & Hove Albion.

Josh Kerr pictured after signing a deal with Premiership club, Brighton & Hove Albion.

I’m hungry to play games week in, week out. There’s a lot of boys who have got moved to England from that league so I know it can be done. So hopefully I can do the same.”

Kerr arrived at Brandywell highly rated and impressed on his debut at right-back in the 3-0 home win over UCD. However, the centre-half managed just eight starts in total which included the final three matches against Finn Harps (twice) and Shamrock Rovers.

Despite those limited appearances the Scotsman said he enjoyed his time at Derry City and was ‘pleasantly surprised’ at the standard of the league.

“A loan is all about getting that experience, whether it’s good or bad. It will help me in the future regardless but I’d like to thank all the staff here because it’s been a journey. I have enjoyed it and started to play a little bit too late but that’s football.

“Beating Finn Harps 4-0 is probably the highlight,” he added. “I played a few times at St Pat’s and enjoyed those games on a good pitch but the occasion of the first Finn Harps game here at Brandywell was a good one. We totally bossed that and then got to the semi-finals of the cup a few days later.

“I never knew what to expect from this league and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

“I don’t think it’s well enough documented in the UK. It’s definitely a good league with a good platform.

“The fans have been great with me around the city. They’ve been brilliant and I’d like to thank them and all the staff here.”