It’s all about attitude Killian

22 Dec




So Killian Brennan has rejoined Rovers. To say opinion is divided among Rovers’ fans is probably the understatement of the remaining days of the year. The club’s official announcement on its Facebook page has given rise to comments varying from “welcome back” to the four letter c word and plenty of varying complimentary and derogatory comments regarding his return.
There is no doubting Killian Brennan’s ability as a footballer. His stints at Derry City, Bohemians and St Patrick’s Athletic marked him out as a player of real quality having returned from England to sign for Roddy Collins’ Dublin City in 2003. An excellent passer of the ball, a decent finisher and a set piece expert, Rovers fans were delighted when he signed for the club for the 2012 season as Rovers looked to build on successive League titles in 2010 and 2011. What happened was almost as mysterious as what happened to Rovers’ Manager Stephen Kenny that year.

Football fans of every club are the same. We hope we’ll compete for honours. Sometimes we win titles, the odd Cup success is always welcome. We can’t expect to win all the time, even though we hope we will. What we do expect however is application, honesty of effort and pride in the shirt. Being a Shamrock Rovers player demands it. Rovers, like every club, has had its share of mediocre or ordinary players who absolutely made up for their limitations by giving 100%. Fans will accept nothing less.

Killian Brennan gave anything but 100% in 2012. The wheels of the wagon very quickly fell off for Stephen Kenny’s team after he was appointed Manager following Michael O’Neill’s departure after three years in charge. Kenny signed Brennan. Two goals in twenty four appearances was derisory enough for a player of his ability (his goal to game ratio for Derry was 1:10, almost 1:4 for Bohs and 1:6 for St Pats), but what galled me (and doubtless a sizeable contingent of Rovers fans) was his clearly dreadful attitude on the park as Rovers surrendered their title with little or no fight and Stephen Kenny paid with his job in less than a season. While stalwarts such as Stephen Rice, Gary Twigg and Craig Sives tried manfully to stem the bleeding in an utterly forgettable year, Brennan threw the toys out of the pram early in the season when Kenny substituted him in a 1-1 draw in Cork. It was however the Good Friday mauling at Inchicore when Pats beat the champions 5-1 that enraged Rovers’ fans and in particular Killian Brennan’s abject performance from left back. I understand players can have bad games, that match was a shocker from everybody (apart from a young Seán Gannon on the other side of the back four), but it was Brennan’s clear lack of effort and disrespect to the Rovers’ fans that signalled an early end to his relationship with Hoops fans. Kenny’s early departure did nothing to improve Brennan’s displays nor mend that falling out with the fans. His departure to St Pats for the 2013 season was not regretted by Rovers fans.

Two of his brothers, Ryan and Gavin have since played for the club (Ryan has recently joined Bray Wanderers). To this observer, Ryan, despite being plagued by injury, always had a go. His attitude could never be questioned. Gavin, after a very ropey start, won over the fans by the season’s end. Why? Attitude, plain and simple. He knuckled down and after a misguided social media outburst, did his talking on the park and can look forward to a decent 2016 at the club in my opinion. Killian Brennan has more ability than both Ryan and Gavin, but in terms of attitude, he lags miles behind. Rovers fans will hope he has learned his lesson from 2012 and that his brothers will have given him some fraternal advice and that he hits the ground running and shuts his doubters up in 2016.

Stephen Kenny has shown incredible resolve since 2012 to lift successive titles with Dundalk in 2014 and 2015. It is hoped Killian Brennan can show similar and bury the Big Time Charlie memory of his utterly disastrous first stint with Ireland’s most successful club. It is also hoped Pat Fenlon is proved brave rather than silly in signing Brennan. Over to you Killian.


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