From pub matches in Doncaster to managing the first African club to play a Premier League side on English soil - Dylan Kerr is football’s answer to Phileas Fogg.

Kerr, from Mexborough, enjoyed a long and winding career as a left-back encompassing a four-year spell at Leeds United, close to a century of appearances for Reading and 18 clubs.

His coaching career has been even more nomadic, taking him to Arizona, Mpumalanga Black Aces in South Africa, Chesterfield Under-18’s and Vietnamese outfit Hai Phon.

On Tuesday night, the 51-year-old leads Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia into the SportPesa trophy, a historic match against Everton at Goodison Park.

Kerr says his own journey in the game, that began on a bleary-eyed Sunday morning in South Yorkshire, proves to his players their performances in the game could change their lives.

“The players are excited and they know this is a huge chance for them,” said Kerr.

“When I was 16, my dad had to beg me to play in a pub game. I wanted to be a footballer but at a professional club, not with my dad and his mates.

“I agreed to play because he wouldn’t shut up. There was a Sheffield Wednesday scout at the game and being spotted by him changed my life.

“Had I not played, I wouldn’t have been able to stand on the sidelines on Tuesday and make my coaching debut in England.

“You never know who’s watching. I’ve told the boys not to come off that pitch thinking ‘what if,’ because this is their opportunity to shine.

“It’s great for me to come back to the UK to coach but I try to never think about myself - it’s about opening the door for them to play in Europe.

“Victor Wanyama is the only Kenyan playing in the Premier League and I’m trying to prepare these players to think about that opportunity.”

Kerr took the reins at the Nairobi side in June 2017, stepping into a role vacated by Ze Maria- who earned 25 caps for Brazil as a midfielder and played for Inter Milan.

The Yorkshireman guided them to Kenyan Premier League title in his first season in the job, qualifying for the continental Confederation Cup, Africa's Europa League, in the process.

Beating Supersport United, runners-up in 2017-18, in the play-off round was one of Kerr’s major triumphs; as well as beating Tanzania’s Simba SC to earn the right to play Everton.

While Kerr is flourishing in Africa, the dream of coaching professionally in his home country is never far from his mind.

“African football is unique because it’s unpredictable,” he said.

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“In the average week you have no idea what you’re going to get - everything has its complications, its hassles.

“I left home to play in South Africa and I went back to coach in 2009, so as well as working in Tanzania, I knew what to expect.

“It’s a healthy continent to live on - I’m learning about different cultures, tribes and languages, although I can’t always tell me Afrikaans from my Swahili.

Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia will make history tomorrow as the first African club to play an English Premier League club in the UK when they face Everton for the SportPesa trophy. Tickets are available now at