Saturday, April 04, 2020

IN a statement released on Saturday, the FAI confirmed that Stephen Kenny will replace Mick McCarthy with immediate effect.

New Ireland manager Stephen Kenny
Photo: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

McCarthy was originally scheduled to be charge of the Euro 2020 qualifier tie against Slovakia and then a possible European Championships in the summer before handing the reigns over the to the former Dundalk manager before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kenny will now take charge of the team and begin preparations for that Slovakia game.

No announcement has been made yet regarding Kenny’s backroom staff or who will replace him as under 21 manager but it is thought that Kildare resident Jim Crawford, assistant to Kenny with the under team, could be in the running for that job.

The FAI statement reads in full:

The Football Association of Ireland announces that Mick McCarthy is to be succeeded as national team manager by Stephen Kenny with immediate effect.

The handover has been agreed with both men in light of the delay to the European Championship play-offs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mick McCarthy’s contract was due to expire on July 31st after the UEFA EURO 2020 finals, with Stephen initially scheduled to step up from his Under-21 team role on August 1st.

This move allows Stephen Kenny time to plan for the European Championship play-off semi-final against Slovakia later in the year.

Interim FAI CEO Gary Owens said: “This has been a difficult situation for the Association – and for Mick and Stephen in particular – in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the effect it has had on the football calendar.

“On behalf of President Gerry McAnaney, the Board of the FAI and myself, I want to thank both men for their professionalism and their understanding in their dealings with the Association in these unprecedented circumstances.  These are exceptional times in Irish life and Mick has taken that into account in agreeing to vacate the post early.

“On behalf of the FAI, I wish to express our gratitude to Mick for his service and commitment to our national team throughout his career and particularly in his second spell as Ireland manager. We wish Mick and his staff well and we thank them all for their hard work in this European Championship campaign to date.

“Stephen will now begin his planning for the play-off against Slovakia and everyone at the FAI wishes him well in our bid to qualify for Euro 2020. Football will be back and we have so much to look forward to now in the autumn with the Nations League and the UEFA EURO 2020 play-off, followed by the World Cup qualifiers in early 2021.”

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