DFC | Standing on the shoulders of Giants — Proud Perth honoured to join the list of league winning managers

Dundalk FC head coach has a chance to emulate the great Jim McLaughlin at Aviva Stadium next weekend

Standing tall with a gold winners medal draped around his neck, Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth spoke with pride at seeing his name added to an illustrious list of men who have guided their team to a League of Ireland title.

After six seasons as Stephen Kenny’s two, Perth took over the reins at Oriel Park when Kenny departed last November and has gone on to guide the Lilywhites to the league title, the EA Sports Cup and a place in next Sunday’s FAI Cup final.

And speaking to Dundalk Sport after the 4–0 win over St Patrick’s Athletic, an emotional Perth said that he was proud to have maintained the run of success that Kenny brought to the Louth club.

“I owe Stephen a huge amount and I haven’t had the opportunity to thank him publicly,” said Perth. “He plucked me from Cherry Orchard and gave me a chance to play in the League of Ireland for Longford Town and seven years ago he plucked me from Malahide United and gave me a chance to come and work for him here.

“He left a legacy here and it was up to me to try and continue it. The history of football shows you that it hasn’t always gone well for people who try and follow somebody like him so it means a lot to me that I’ve been able to continue on with his good work.”

Big question marks hung over Perth when Dundalk fell 13 points behind Shamrock Rovers back in April but an unbeaten run of 24 league games — a club record — propelled them to the title with 11 points to spare.

“It was a really difficult job this year,” he said. “You hear plenty of noise from outside and one thing I always hear is that the players can manage themselves.

“Well, they can’t because then Sean Gannon wouldn’t sign Cameron Dummigan, Dane Massey wouldn’t sign Dean Jarvis and Patrick Hoban wouldn’t rest himself, for example.

“I’m massively proud of what I have done and nobody can take it away from me. I’ve managed a team to win the League of Ireland. There’s a very long list of important people who have won a league title and I’ve managed to join that list.”

With two trophies in the bag, Perth is now hoping to follow in the footsteps of another managerial legend when Dundalk face Shamrock Rovers at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

Jim McLaughlin guided Derry City to the league, FAI Cup and League Cup back in 1989 and Perth said it would be the ultimate accolade to stand alongside the Derryman in the Hall of Fame.

“Jim is somebody who has inspired me and somebody I have always looked up to,” he said. “When I first met him, I knew I met a man of greatness so if my name is ever mentioned in the same sentence as Jim, I have done something special.

“There are probably a few out grinches who would choke on their soup if they heard me and Jim in the same sentence but even if we win the treble, I’ll still have a long way to go to be in his bracket,” he added.

“Jim and Stephen are two of the greatest managers of all time so be mentioned with them is an honour to me but there’s no way I’m in the same league as them yet. Ultimately, that is the goal for me over the next 10 to 15 years.

“There’s no doubt that next Sunday is a massive opportunity for me, the staff and the players but there is no pressure on us because we have achieved our goal of winning the league.”

Best Betting Sites in Ireland

Best Betting Apps in Ireland