Nov 9 2012 by Lizzie Smith, Kilmarnock Standard
Boss has three year game plan
Boss Kenny Shiels predicts Killie will be playing in Europe within the next three years.
The gaffer revealed his game plan to the 350 fans who turned out for a ‘Meet the Manager’ night at the club’s Park Hotel on Thursday night.
Shiels and his assistant Jimmy Nicholl answered supporters’ questions during the event hosted by TV football pundit Rob McLean.
Nicholl told fans: “I’m really excited about what will happen in the years to come here.”
And Shiels agreed: “There is a great crop of young players. We’ve five or six real possibilities that are going to come through.
“We are building for the future. I don’t see any reason why we can’t challenge for Europe in the next three or four seasons.
“The first test is keeping our young players. We are a club with debt and there may be a need to sell them.
“Young stars who do well will be pounced on by bigger clubs.”
Shiels admits he was frustrated to lose 17-year-old striker Matthew Kennedy in a six-figure deal to Everton earlier this season.
Fans were happy to hear the club are currently working on tying up first team stars midfielder Liam Kelly and keeper Cammy Bell on new, longer deals.
Bell has been called up for Scotland’s friendly against Luxemburg next Wednesday by stand-in national boss Billy Stark
The Northern Irish management duo do not predict a top four finish this season blaming inconsistency and injuries.
Despite a historic 2-0 win at Parkhead the previous week, the Rugby Park men lost 2-1 at home to Inverness on Saturday.
The club have appealed a red card issued to Bell for a last-man challenge on Caley midfielder Ross Draper, which allowed Billy McKay to slam a penalty past substitute goalkeeper Kyle Letheren.
The case will be heard by a fast-track tribunal today (Thursday) the SFA said.
Gaffer Shiels was fuming at the performance of referee Euan Norris on Saturday which included waving away first half penalty claims after Rory McKenzie was taken down in the box.
Shiels has reported the official to the SFA’s head of referee development for making a “sarcastic” remark following the final whistle.
Killie Under-20s racked up their seventh win in a row beating Ross County 1-0 on Tuesday night.
The first team face a visit from the Staggies this Saturday. A minute’s silence will be observed prior to the 3pm kick-off for Remembrance Sunday. Players for both teams will wear poppies on their strips as a mark of respect.
Servicemen from all branches of the armed forces can attend the Rugby Park game for free.