Kerr hails Faroe passion

Former Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr is astonished at the level of support there is for football on the Faroe Islands.

Kerr took time out ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifier with Northern Ireland on Tuesday evening in Toftir to reflect on the domestic scene in a remote area.

"Our league is not exactly one of the top six in Europe. We don't tend to have teams reaching the latter rounds of the Champions League every season, " said the Faroes boss.

"But it is a very vibrant set-up, and the people here not only enjoy it but attend the games in extraordinary numbers.

"Of a population of just over 47,000 scattered over 18 islands, I would guess that 10-12,000 watch league games every weekend.

"If you had the same proportion of people turning up for games in the Irish League, you would need about six Wembley Stadiums to fit them all in. So while the standard of the league here is not great, there is fantastic interest."

Kerr has nothing but admiration for his part-timers, even though they have lost all four games in the campaign.

He said: "There are a lot of very positive things, not least the passion of the players. They love the challenge of taking on the best even if they do have to report for work at nine o'clock the following morning.

"You can't help getting involved and feeling for them when they are giving it their all.

"We are always massive underdogs, of course, and that is not surprising when you consider the players have real jobs to do, away from football."

Kerr is delighted to be in the same group as Northern Ireland.

He said: "I've been looking forward to this game since the draw was made. I would have liked the Republic, of course, but Northern Ireland is next best.

"They are in good shape at the moment, whereas we only have a very small group of players to choose from, so it is going to be difficult."