Mark Kinsella illustrates harsh pitfalls for aspiring managers in the UK

Ex-Ireland international is now a first team coach at Drogheda United and spoke to Newstalk's Team 33

BY Raf Diallo 15:57 Wednesday 22 March 2017, 15:57 22 Mar 2017

Mark Kinsella, Charlton Athletic reserve team coach in 2010. Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

"It's ruthless. Absolutely." 

As former Ireland midfielder Mark Kinsella and any other coaches and managers would put it, football has become increasingly cut-throat, especially across the water.

Kinsella is now enjoying life as a coach at Drogheda United but between 2006 and 2014, he got a first hand view of how ruthless life is in the UK for aspiring managers.

The former Charlton Athletic and Colchester United player and coach recounted some of those experiences and insights on Team 33

The 44 year old went back to Charlton in a coaching capacity in 2006 just as his long time former manager Alan Curbishley was departing and remained there during Alan Pardew's time in charge.

"I was working with the kids, under-21s, linking up with the youth team and Pards ended up getting sacked and Phil Parkinson who was his No 2 ended up getting the job and he moved me back up to first team coach," said Kinsella.

"He ended up getting sacked as well and then we all lost our jobs. That was January [2011] and I was out of football for eight months.

"That was tough trying to get back in. They always tell you 'Go to games, go and get yourself out there and let people know you're around, don't let them forget your face, jobs come about, they know you...'   

"But you go to the every game and you see the same 44 people [looking for jobs in football] at every game. 

You can listen to the full Part 2 interview with Mark on the podcast player below or on iTunes:

"The worst thing about is whenever they get a sniff that a manager being sacked, you'll see 72 wannabe managers ending up at that game. I remember even with Phil at Charlton, going to games and knowing that results aren't great and you read the papers and you'll turn around and look at the stands and you'll see managers from everywhere, out of job managers looking for a job, filling a couple of rows just waiting for that opportunity."  

Mark Kinsella: "No one else knew that I'd been told that you're going to be No 12"

And for those coaches outside the usual already established circle of managers who tend to get most jobs, it can be tough to break in.

"You'd never see a door opening. It's like a conveyor belt. If you want to be a coach, you have to have a good manager, who will always have a job and will take you so you will always have a job. 

"It's difficult to get in [in the UK]. For example, if Conte wanted to coach at a club, he's not going to take Mark Kinsella. He's going to have his own little crew and if he gets sacked and another manager comes in, he'll sack everybody that's there and he'll bring in his own five. So if every manager has his own coach, assistant manager and physio and goalkeeping coach, then that roundabout means whoever gets that job, it'll be the same people." 

Kinsella added that such a policy by managers is understandable as they will seek to work with those they already know and trust.

After Charlton, he then served as assistant manager to friend and former Ireland under-21 international Joe Dunne from 2012 to 2014 at his first English club Colchester United - until the latter was sacked.

"I was in a flat, courtesy of the club and then Joe got sacked on a Sunday," Kinsella recalls.

"And then Monday morning, we [the coaching staff] followed and I more or less lost my house, my car and my job. Everything.

"They gave me about two weeks to have the car back and to get out of the house."

But as he added, once parting ways occur, one does not want to hang around too long in any case.

That was his last position in England before returning home to Ireland, in a footballing environment that he explains is far less cut-throat than in the UK.

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