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Club News


16 December 2021

Martyn Pert arrives as assistant manager

Kieran McKenna is the new manager of Ipswich Town Football Club.

The Northern Irishman, who joins from Manchester United where he was a first-team coach, has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at Portman Road and becomes the 19th manager in the Club’s history.

Kieran, 35, worked under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the Red Devils, helping the team to consecutive third and second placed finishes in the Premier League in 2019/20 and 2020/21 respectively. He stayed at Old Trafford following the arrival of Ralf Rangnick as a key member of the new interim manager's backroom staff.

He started his coaching career in 2009 immediately upon retiring from playing before leaving for United, where, prior to being named first-team assistant manager by Jose Mourinho, he was in charge of the U18s - a side he guided to the Northern Premier Division title in just his second season.

Born in London but raised in County Fermanagh, Kieran’s playing days saw him progress through the youth ranks at Spurs. In 2009, aged 23, he was forced to retire from playing due to a hip injury. Kieran had captained Northern Ireland at every level from U17-U21.

Joining Kieran as Town’s assistant manager is Martyn Pert.

Prior to joining United, Martyn had worked at clubs in the Premier League and Championship including Watford, where he achieved promotion to the top flight in the 2005/06 season. A four-year spell as assistant manager at MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps followed, before he completed the switch to Old Trafford in October 2019.

Kieran and Martyn arrive at Town ready for a new challenge and will take the reins of the Blues first-team on Monday.

“I’d like to thank Mark Ashton and the owners for putting their faith in me and Martyn to take the Club forward,” Kieran told the Club website.

"Leaving a club like Manchester United was obviously a difficult decision, but I strongly believe in the opportunity to build something here.

"It feels like the right time, project and Club to make my first step into first-team management.

"For now, the focus for the team has to be on a huge game on Saturday. After that, I cannot wait to meet everyone and get to work."

"I’m delighted to officially welcome Kieran and Martyn to the Club," added Mark Ashton.

"Kieran is a highly-respected young coach who has been working at the top level of English football and with one of the biggest clubs in world football for a number of years in Manchester United.

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"He comes to the Club with pedigree within the game and with exciting plans about how he is going to take the team forward. When we met, there was a clear meeting of minds in terms of how we will execute the vision of this football club.

"I’d like to reiterate my thanks to John McGreal, Kieron Dyer, Rene Gilmartin and Carl Pentney for stepping up to take care of first-team duties during the interim period. They will remain in charge for Saturday’s game against Sunderland.

"Finally, I’d like to place on record our gratitude to Ed Woodward and Manchester United for their professionalism and approach."

Both Kieran and Martyn will be in attendance for Saturday’s fixture with Sunderland, with a formal press conference scheduled for Monday, 20 December.

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