What more is there to say about Steve Clarke? A record points tally, working with a shoestring budget, making Kirk Broadfoot a decent footballer. These are just some of the wonderful things the former Liverpool assistant has done in a brilliant spell managing Kilmarnock.
The media and fans alike have sang his praises all season. With that success comes interest though and Clarke has had plenty of that. He’s been linked with jobs down south and has spoken of his ambition to manage the national team one day.
His former boss at Liverpool though, Kenny Dalglish, believes one thing could prevent him for walking through the exit door at Rugby Park. Clarke was Dalglish’s assistant at Anfield and he thinks the “romance” of managing his local team could persuade him to stay in Ayrshire.
Speaking to the BBC, Dalglish explained: “He fancied the Kilmarnock job because he was born and brought up in Ardrossan. It’s nice to have that bit of romance when you go to your work and it’s even more romantic when it’s gone as well as it has.
“If he’s still in love with Kilmarnock then maybe he’ll be happy there. But there’s no doubting he’s done a fantastic job and that creates interest from other people.”
Whilst this sentiment is somewhat poetic, is it enough to keep Clarke at Killie?
Family will decide Clarke’s future
Of course all Kilmarnock fans would love the 55-year old to stay forever. If he secures European football they’ll probably want a statue of the man in the town centre. Regardless of that, there is likely to be a key factor in whether Clarke stays or leaves.
His family is based down south and the Killie boss has spent considerable time away from them since joining the Ayrshire outfit. It is beyond question he will miss his family. An offer to move back with them may prove too hard to turn down.
Fan can’t begrudge him if this is the case. Sure he was a local lad, but Clarke’s home has been England for some time now. It’s nice to think of a man from Ayrshire leading the club to glory, but that’s probably not a sentiment that will have crossed Clarke’s mind.
No matter where he goes, Killie fans should enjoy these precious moments. The former Liverpool assistant has lifted the club and the town, inspiring a change in fortunes at Rugby Park.
Instead of worrying about what is to come, fans should enjoy just now while it’s here. All good things must come to an end at some point.