Roy Keane backs Martin O’Neill for Republic of Ireland manager’s job

Corkman reckons there are some good young players available to whatever new manager is appointed

Martin O’Neill: one of a number of possible contenders to succeed Giovanni Trapattoni as the next  Republic of Ireland manager: Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA

Martin O’Neill: one of a number of possible contenders to succeed Giovanni Trapattoni as the next Republic of Ireland manager: Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA


Former Republic of Ireland, Manchester United and Glasgow Celtic star Roy Keane last night expressed support for Martin O’Neill to be appointed as the Republic’s next football manager in succession to Giovanni Trapattoni.

“A lot of managers have been linked with it, a lot of good managers. I would find it hard to disagree with it...I don’t know about the favourites. I know a little bit about Martin O’Neill and I think Martin would be a very, very good choice,” said Keane.

“I also think the FAI have done the right thing in stepping back, taking their time and seeing what is out there. But I think Martin would be a very good guy for the job, I have to say. But that is just my opinion obviously,” he added.

Keane, who like O’Neill began his cross-channel career at Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough, said he had not be approached by the FAI about the Republic of Ireland vacancy despite media speculation linking him with the position.

Be honest
“I have not thought about it (the Republic of Ireland job) too much to be honest with you. I have more important things to be worried about,” said Keane who added he wasn’t flattered to be linked with the Republic of Ireland job.

“No, not really. I shouldn’t be flattered by that, should I?” commented the 42-year-old father of five who played with Rockmount and Cobh Ramblers before making the move cross-channel to link up with Brian Clough.

Keane was speaking in Cork where he last night presented the Mayfield Community Volunteer Awards which were organised in conjunction with Cork City Council, the Garda Community Policing Unit and Cork City Partnership.

Speaking prior to the ceremony compered by RTÉ commentator, Ger Canning and attended by over 200 people at Morans Silversprings Hotel in Cork, Keane also expressed a certain optimism about the Republic of Ireland’s long term future.

“I don’t think it is as bad as everyone is making out. There are young players coming through and it is a good job for a manager- definitely,” said Keane.

The Cork native also revealed he was looking forward to the Cork hurlers capturing the Liam McCarthy Cup tomorrow.

“Hopefully it will be a Cork win. It was brilliant, the last game. I really enjoyed it. I have not had that much fun for a good few years and hopefully Cork will do it on Saturday,” said Keane who was also honoured with a Hall of Fame Award at last night’s ceremony.

The invite
“I was delighted to accept the invite here to present these awards – it’s nice to give a bit back. I am from Mayfield. I was born and reared here. I was married here. The kids were christened here. It is nice to give something back.”

“Sometimes Mayfield gets a bad reputation and I think it is unfair. There are a lot of good people in the community here and that is why I am here tonight, to show my appreciation.”

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