Dylan Kerr’s Chance at Redemption and a Tattoo!

Marumo Gallants recently secured a top-flight league return through the acquisition of Moroka Swallows‘ status. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they’ve chosen Dylan Kerr as their head coach for this challenge. 

Kerr is a coach with a unique tradition: he commemorates his achievements with tattoos. This return to Gallants presents a fascinating opportunity – a chance to erase the memory of their relegation under his watch last season and potentially earn a coveted tattoo.

There’s no downplaying the pressure on Kerr. Club president Abram Sello has outlined clear expectations and mentioned past successes as evidence of his ability.

“I worked with him on three occasions. When we got Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila, we were number 16 and he made miracles. He got us the medal in the Nedbank Cup and he got a tattoo for that,” said Sello.

“The Carling Black Label or the Nedbank Cup, he is either getting one of them. We have to be in the top eight if the club performs well, we want to see ourselves in that bracket. He knows the target very well, he knows his game and we believe in him and his ability to build the players.

Kerr himself acknowledges the challenge but seems optimistic. “I achieved nothing at Gallants. The chairman brought me to the club to save it and it was one hell of a journey. Unfortunately, I did not save the status and it is up to the players, they play, not me,” said Kerr.

“I would love to have the club’s badge on my leg but it is all up to the players. We’ve got a mission this season and I feel it is achievable. It is important that we stay in the league so I can get the tattoo,” he added.

Earning a Marumo Gallant tattoo seems to be a significant motivator for him, but beyond the on-field results, there’s an interesting wrinkle in Gallant’s plans. The club is considering relocating to Bloemfontein, a city known for its passionate football fanbase. 

This move could be mutually beneficial. Gallants would gain a dedicated support system, while Bloemfontein would regain a top-flight team after the departure of Free State Stars and Bloemfontein Celtic.

“We all know how massive Free State is for football. Free State Stars are gone, Bloemfontein Celtic are gone and it is a no-brainer (to move to Free State) because we went there for four games in the 2022/23 season and it was what the province wanted – people wanted to see football,” said Kerr.

“It is very important that as a club, we become involved with the local community. For those who don’t know what I do when I have a day off or an afternoon free, I don’t mind driving for three hours to go watch a football tournament which is played in the mud with wooden sticks as the goalposts.

“Where kids took off their boots when they went off to give kids who were coming on as substitutes. I enjoy that. I enjoy meeting the gogos and the supporters, and I would have a beer with them and we would talk about South African life because they would educate me,” Kerr added.