Kieran McKenna takes Ipswich Town to the Premier League in second successive promotion

Kieran in black sportswear standing on grass.

Kieran McKenna on campus for a pre-season training camp with Ipswich Town ahead of their 22/23 season

Just a year on from their promotion to the Championship from League One football, alumnus Kieran McKenna and his Ipswich Town side have been promoted again and will play in the Premier League next season.

It is 22 years since Ipswich were last in the Premier League.

On Saturday 4 May, Ipswich beat Huddersfield 2-0 to secure their promotion, finishing on an impressive 96 points.

Talking after the final game of the season, Kieran said:

“What a day. From arrival to the atmosphere of the performance on the pitch, to the scenes at the end, I think it’s all been executed perfectly. An amazing day.

“To do what we’ve done takes incredible sacrifice from so many people.”

He added:

“It’s a dream come true for every footballer to be a Premier League footballer.”

Kieran joined the side two and a half years ago, having previously been at Manchester United as a first team coach under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The alumnus was named EFL Championship Manager of the Season last month at the EFL Awards in London. He has also been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month twice during this season.

Last year when the side finished second in League One, Kieran was nominated for EFL League One Manager of the Season award. Following that season, Kieran signed a new contract to lead the men’s side up to summer 2027.

Himself a footballer at a young age, Kieran was forced to retire due to injury, having captained Northern Ireland at entry level from U17-21. He joined Loughborough in 2009 and began his coaching trajectory. He graduated from Loughborough with a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Exercise Science in 2012.

Kieran isn’t the only Loughborough link to the club. Ipswich Town hosts several placement students from the University. Alumnus Will Stephenson (MSc Exercise Psychology 2014) is the side’s Lead First Team Performance Analyst, and former member of university staff Rich Carpenter is its Head of Operations.

Congratulations to Kieran and Ipswich Town.