By Chris Curulli
Forest Killarney FC Technical Director Billy Keir has committed countless hours to the clubs flourishing youth system and boasts an impressive background in football.
Keir is also serving as the clubs Coaching Manager and has overseen player grading, coach training and skills management for the last four years.
As a youngster in his native Scotland, he enjoyed a brief stint at historic club Dumbarton FC where he was influenced heavily by the mentorship of Scottish international Davie Wilson.
In 1983 he made the move down under and initially played under Australian international Archie Blue and before spending some time representing Rockdale Illinden FC.
Keir then relocated from Concord to Manly and signed with Dee Why FC, which was a State League club at the time.
The biggest highlight during of his playing days was taking part in the clubs famous fixture against Manly United at Cromer Park, where 3,500 fans packed into the ground to watch Northern Irish legend George Best represent the Swans in a one-off exhibition match.
After hanging up the boots, Keir moved to Forestville and subsequently registered his 8-year-old son to play with Forest Killarney FC.
From there, he gradually got involved in the club and coached two teams all the way from U13s to U18s.
Recently he has won multiple Grand Finals with FKFCs U18/1 sides, and last year his outfit won the Football NSW State Cup for the first time in the clubs history.
Keir is also working hard behind the scenes to develop a consistent coaching process, implementing a top-quality, enjoyable pathway for the clubs youth.
Our priority is the quality of the coaches and good facilities we have to offer at the club, he said.
Clubs are generally built from the bottom up, so if you install a welcoming environment for parents bring their kids and the kids get exposed to mentors, role models and good coaches then the connection and the bond start to get stronger.
You’ve got the ingredients of enthusiasm and desire, by both the coach and the players, which is a perfect environment for junior sport.
Last season, Forest Killarney were awarded Manly Warringah Football Associations Junior Club of the Year accolade.
Eight of the clubs mixed junior sides qualified for their respective Grand Finals.
Their AL/1s squad appear primed for a successful season after outclassing Lugano 10-0 in Round 2 of the FFA Cup prior to lockdown.
With the club continuing to go from strength to strength at all levels, Keir possesses high hopes for what the future may hold.
The goal for the club is to attain a position in the Premier League Men’s Division and to then build a strong AL/1s squad underneath that, he said.
Then to do the same in with our Womens teams so we have a strong all-round club.
We’ve got junior boys and girls and we’ve got good senior teams, so we hope those juniors progress to the seniors and are with the club for a long time.