Kerr’s Suite MemoriesFriday, 27th Nov 2020
“I thought the best place would be where I was going to play. Dunfermline were keen to get me in and it was the perfect fit
On loan Celt Kerr McInroy is lapping up playing for his hometown team. He was a pupil at Touch Primary School when his grandad took him to games at East End Park so now playing for Dunfermline is proving to be a satisfying period in the 20 year old’s development.
“I used to attend Dunfermline matches with his grandad who was a patron of the Rennie Suite. My grandad had a season ticket, I was still young but I sat in the suite with him and a couple of his pals. Then we would watch the game.”
Playing boys football with Blue Brazil restricted Kerr’s opportunities to attend Pars games on Saturdays but he would always come along when possible. “I can remember Stevie Crawford and Craig Brewster playing and I was at the cup finals in 2004 and 2007 although in 2007 it was in the Celtic end!
“I have been enjoying it, we have been on a good run and not be beaten since I came here. The boys are doing well, flying really. We just need to keep it going, keep taking it game by game and see where that takes us in the end.”
When the option came up to go out on loan to Dunfermline, Kerr jumped at the chance.
“I thought the best place would be where I was going to play. Dunfermline were keen to get me in and it was the perfect fit. With me knowing the club it made it a bit easier to settle in and it is close to my house which obviously helps.”
Out from May 2019 until February 2020 with an anterior cruciate ligament injury and when Kerr came back he knew he had to get out and play games.
“This was perfect, somewhere I knew and where I could get games. Celtic reserves are just playing the odd friendly here and there this year, so the majority of the boys have gone out on loan. All the others are training with the first team every day like I was from the start of pre season. That was a good experience for the first three months before coming out to play games.
“That probably worked best for me because I got to see everything that Celtic were doing and now I am Dunfermline playing games which I am enjoying a lot.”
Kerr is happy to have played every minute of the 90 in all five Pars games that he has started.
“I was out for nine months until back in training for a month before playing my first game. I built up game time playing another game or two but then everything stopped. I was back home trying to keep myself fit before I went back to training in the middle of June.
“The 90 minutes of football have been big for me. Coming back from injury I hadn’t played 90 minutes until the first competitive game at Dumbarton. It was good for me mentally getting the 90 minutes in the tank. I have played a good few 90 minutes after that. It is good to be building and building because I feel I still have more to give. I am still getting up to speed.”
While it was good for Kerr to get the call up after the Dumbarton game to go away with the Scotland Under 21s it did disrupt his Dunfermline appearances.
“I missed out in a couple of games and when I came back I wasn’t really in the team for a couple of games. Since then I have been playing the majority of weeks and really enjoying. The team has been winning which is the main thing.”
The televised match against Hearts had the pundits singing the praises of Kerr’s performance. A statistical analysis of his game showed he made a significant contribution to the win. He recovered the ball well winning it back 14 times, six times in the Hearts half. Kerr won three out of four of his one to one battles, made five interceptions and the greater percentage of his passes were forward. Kerr had been aware of some of the comments made on the BBC.
“I heard that I got a few compliments on the television and a few people texted me saying that I had done well. I thought the game plan was outstanding and everyone executed it really well. Everyone to a man was excellent.
“It was a good win for us and it was a good test because everyone was saying that Hearts were going to run away with the league. They have a really good squad and a lot of depth there. They are a big club to be in the Championship but I don’t see why we can’t be challenging them.
“I think we showed on a Friday night that we are every bit as good. We are flying and we are doing well, which is good but we need to keep going.
“There is going to be a lot of pressure on Hearts. Budgets make them massive favourites but we are just going to take it game by game and see where it takes us at the end of the season. We need to keep building and building and we now have a cup game to look forward to.
“A cup run would be nice, obviously it is tough place to go on Saturday up to Arbroath. Everyone is looking forward to it and there is a carrot of seeing who you might get in the next round. Getting a wee run together and maybe getting to Hampden but you need the hard work on Saturday first.”
Kerr has played at Gayfield in a mid season friendly for a Celtic XI in January last year but still maintains that he is looking forward to the trip:-
“There was a wee breeze but it was in the summer so it wasn’t too windy! Everyone knows that it is a tough place to go with the conditions and they are quite a direct team. We will need to deal with that and hopefully go on and win the game.”
Playing in midfield alongside Steven Whittaker is a major positive for the young Celtic player who lumped praise on the assistance he gets from the former Rangers star:-
“Whitts experience is really good, he has got involved with the coaching staff and he is coaching on the pitch as well which is good. When I am playing next to him he is always talking to me and telling me what he wants me to do. It is brilliant for me for him to talk me through it.
“He has played at the highest level, he knows what he is talking about so it is good to listen. Me and Kyle (Turner) are a wee bit younger than him so to learn off him is brilliant. It is good that he sits and allows us to push on.”
Kerr McInroy joined Celtic from Blue Brazil when he was 12. After just one year at Woodmill High for first year and spent the rest of his school years at St Ninians in Kirkintilloch as part of the club’s performance school. That meant early mornings and late nights, travelling through for school and training before and after school. It was a hard schedule claimed Kerr:-
“A bus driver used to meet us at Kincardine Bridge at quarter to seven, so it was an early start. I can only thank my mum and dad for getting me out of my bed, I wouldn’t like to be doing that everyday before your work. They gave me a lift there, then we would get the bus through for training at half seven. After school we would get dinner and train at night again.”
All this meant that Kerr would leave his house at 6:15 and not get in until eight o’clock at night every day Monday to Friday. Matches would be played on a Saturday or Sunday, he continued:- “I don’t think I could manage a day of that now! I remember it was a breeze when I was younger.”
The Celtic Performance School was a big ambition for many a young player and Kerr was not any different.
“You wanted to get invited to that school. It was quite a big thing and when you go it is good because you are there with fifteen or sixteen of your pals that you play in the same team with.”
Things are going well in Kerr’s footballing life but it does lack one thing. He scored a couple of goals against Spartans on his first Dunfermline start in pre season but he closed:-
“Everyone would have been expecting a few more goals since then. There have been a few close ones but none good enough yet.”
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