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It took Dylan Kerr 30 minutes to realise joining Swallows was ‘a no-brainer’

02 December 2021 - 11:19 By Marc Strydom
Dylan Kerr takes charge of his first Swallows FC training session on Wednesday.
Dylan Kerr takes charge of his first Swallows FC training session on Wednesday.
Image: Swallows FC/Twitter

New Swallows FC coach Dylan Kerr says it took him half-an-hour in a meeting with club president Panyaza Lesufi and chairperson David Mogashoa to realise the Birds job was something he definitely wanted.

Kerr replaces Brandon Truter after the coach who oversaw Swallows’ promotion back to the PSL as 2019/2020 first division champions was sacked when Sunday’s 3-1 DStv Premiership defeat to Kaizer Chiefs at Dobsonville Stadium made for a run of four wins in 36 league and cup matches.

Kerr said he had no inkling on Monday he was a candidate for the Swallows job, and by Tuesday afternoon, in a one-hour meeting with Lesufi and Mogashoa, he had signed on the dotted line.

“It was unexpected. Obviously social media was hinting, but I didn’t speak to anybody,” the 1980s Arcadia Shepherds star wing said.

“[Kerr’s agent] Paul Mitchell phoned me on Monday and said, ‘Just wait, something may happen, something may not’. He didn’t tell me where.

“[Tuesday] morning at 11am he phoned me and said, ‘Can you get a flight from Durban to Joburg’?

“I flew at 2pm, was at the offices by 4pm, and by 5pm I was so impressed with the chairperson and the president and their vision and ambition, bearing in mind that they’re bottom of the league — they were still were very confident in themselves and the players — that it was a no-brainer.

“And I wasn’t looking for work. I was happy, healthy, mentally stronger in Durban than I was in Polokwane. I was enjoying the break from football, though missing it like mad.

“I had been thrown a few first division teams and I didn’t think that was the right idea for me at the time.

“And within 30 minutes of listening to the chairperson and president, they offered me the position and I grabbed both their hands and I took it, with both hands.”

After kicking, and sometimes being kicked, around Limpopo clubs Black Leopards, Baroka FC and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) with varying degrees of treatment and success, Kerr finds himself at a team with solid structures and a seemingly sensible management.

At TTM, now Marumo Gallants, Kerr won last season’s Nedbank Cup, but could not get a contract renewal. He joins a side where the passion Lesufi and Mogashoa have shown in reviving Swallows from near-disappearance displays their love of football and the team, and the will to see it succeed.

“Obviously the Black Leopards situation was different, because my mom was dying, and I put my family over football, which I never do,” Kerr said of when he left a first stint at Lidoda Duvha in June 2019.

“With Baroka, there’s still litigation ongoing for the dismissal. And with TTM [Gallants] we gave them a proposal and they came back with a different one, which said to me they wanted to go in another direction. Which is fine, but that’s all they had to say to me, but don’t make an offer less than the previous one, especially with the things that I did.

“At Swallows, it will be nice if we can get some points by December, get the momentum forward by the time of the Africa Cup of Nations break, so when we return we’ve got a vision of where we want to be and can be.

“Hopefully this will lead to something bigger and better for Swallows for the longer term. But the only people who can achieve that are the players.”

Kerr's first assignment is against 11th placed Maritzburg United at Dobsonville on Saturday.

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