Dean Kiely - Looking After Number One

It seems everyone else has had their say on Dean Kiely. So for what it is worth, I’ll have mine.

There’s no denying that Deano is ambitious. He came back from our first tour of Ireland wanting to represent them in the 1998 World Cup Finals. 2 years down the line not a sniff of international recognition. Last spring, when the Irish faced a goalkeeping crisis, no mention was made of Deano, instead Shay Given, a nineteen year old was plucked from Blackburn’s reserve team to keep goal. I’m sure Deano thought he had no chance of playing for Ireland if such players can easily jump ahead of him.

If you’d asked Deano who he wanted to join, I’m sure Bury wouldn’t have been at the top of his list. Bolton’s interest in the spring came to nothing. A lower Premiership or upper Division club might have been his aim. With the season just days away, Plymouth said no and no one else was interested. That is, until Bury came in.

Deano had made his Football League debut with York and had gone on to establish a reputation as a class lower division keeper. An article I did for New Frontiers showed Deano’s performances with City to be amongst the best of all City’s keepers. Remember all those clean sheets he kept.

City had done all they could to keep him, putting a series of alternate contracts in front of him. Perhaps Deano had got to the stage when he just needed a change. I’m sure we all know someone who has jacked in a job because they’ve had enough and, also, probably someone else who has moved to another job, doing the same thing, but for much more money.

That makes Deano is just like the rest of us.

Being an insider, he will know much more about the ambitions of City and Bury. Recent ground improvements and signings indicate to me that Bury are ambitious. On league positions over the last 3 or 4 seasons, you could even argue that City are going backwards. (Ed – Dean joined them just as they’d been promoted from the basement division. In his first season, despite Bury being favourites to go straight back down, he starred as they kept over 20 clean sheets and went straight up to what we now know as The Championship. Ask Deano and he’ll probably name his Bury manager, Stan Ternant, as the best manager he has played under).

I doubt whether ensuring City get a decent fee or how City’s fans will react to his choice of new club will have been high on Deano’s list of items to consider when he left City. After all, he cost us nothing and Bury are just one of 23 teams we’ve got to beat.

I don’t think I’ll boo Deano when he plays against York. In similar circumstances, did we boo Keith Walwyn or John MacPhail when they returned to York. No, we applauded them and remembered the good times we’d enjoyed with them in our side. Do you remember Wembley and Old Trafford, to name but 2. And who can say that Deano wasn’t a key player on both occasions. I’m sure we’ve all got our own memories of Dean and his rapport with the fans.

Whilst on the subject of Deano and tribunals, the predictable cries of “we wuz robbed” have been aired as a result of the tribunal (£120,000 from Bury and more when he moved onto Charlton). Its always been the same. Invariably, the tribunal finds in favour of the buying club. I can only recall us going to the tribunal once before. We got a mere £22,500 for John MacPhail at the peak of his powers.

Astute businessman as he is, why don’t Douglas Craig and York City play it to their own advantage. Let’s go and sign some quality players for the club at a pittance to the true value. Answers on a postcard as to why we have never yet been to the tribunal as a buying club.

This article first appeared in Oh What A Shambles

PS Dean Kiely proved once again that jewels can be found in the lower leagues. He went onto have a long and illustrious career. Even when starring in The Premiership for Charlton, he found time out of his busy schedule to attend a YCS meeting in London where he spoke eloquently of his footballing career and let slip a few behind the scenes secrets of his time with City. The pinnacle of his career might have been the 2002 World Cup, his major contribution? After Roy Keane walked out of the squad, Dean broke the ice and lifted spirits when he offered to swap his gloves for a midfield dynamo role. PS. Anyone else recall how poor his kicking was at City and how much it improved at Charlton?

Dean Kiely In 2019

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