THERE are few names as famous in League of Ireland football as Killian Brennan. And now the master on the pitch is set to become the teacher off it as he takes up the role of assistant co-ordinator on the Drogheda United Football Club and the Louth & Meath Education & Training Board (LMETB) Diploma in Business Administration (VTCT level 2) course being held at the Barbican.
The Diploma in Business Administration, which is mapped at QQI Level 4 on the National Framework of Qualifications, will feature exclusive football related content designed to give trainees an understanding of the administrative side of running a football club.
‘I’m a little bit nervous,” the multi league winning player stated on his first day. He has been out of the classroom sphere for decades, but is looking forward to the challenge.He was just 15 when he left for Peterborough United, having completed his Junior Cert. He’d return to do his Leaving and then it was on the road, firstly going full time at Derry City for three or four years.
He simply felt there was no point in going back to education. “I went on to Bohs and Shamrock Rovers and the others and I was out of touch with all this stuff Football is not the be all and end all. As much as it’s great to be a professional player, if you don’t have something behind you you find yourself in a bad place and I’m trying to push people to do both.“There are lads who have done things, I wasn’t one of them as I couldn’t see the end of my career but you have to plan ahead. I finished at 35 and the uncertainty of not having anything hits now at 37, nearly 38. So that’s scary and you don’t want to be going down that route.
“You can be afraid to go back and even put yourself in front of a laptop. It was foreign and even is now, but I’m willing to learn and hopefully give people on the course some life skills to help the community”.
The Marley’s Court man won three League medals, five FAI Cups and five League Cups during a stunning League of Ireland career, and was PFAI Players’ Player of the Year in 2013.
Having started off with Drogheda Boys, he played with some of the best and against the best, PSG included.The Liverpool fan signed for Drogheda in 2017, but broke his collarbone in a match with Galway that basically put paid to most of his season. Teaming up with the Drogs again – off the park – he feels giving back to his hometown is a goal that now rests firmly on his shoulders.
“To be honest, I had nothing to replace football when I retired and it can be hard when you have nothing in place. It is a dark place when you look around the corner and wonder what is the next step. It can be daunting and even going back to school or doing an online course can be daunting, especially when all you know is football. I know I’m throwing myself in at the deep end but I’m willing to learn and I’m confident that I can do the job.”
Getting an education – through and with football – is something that he firmly believes in. “I would encourage lads to stay in school and get an education, but mix it with football. I found myself lost as I’d been a full-time professional. Don’t lose touch with the classroom,” he added.
The content of the Business programme has been adapted to use football as a tool for participants to learn about the running of a football club including modules such as; Commercialisation and Administration of Football, Football and Community Development, Running an enterprising activity, Business Development, Marketing, Branding and PromotionEvent Planning, Health and Safety, Personal Development and Leadership, Volunteerism, Financing of Clubs and Football Coaching.