FAI to discuss Trapattoni successor in coming days

John Delaney says progress has been slow because of ‘logistical difficulties’

FAI chief executive John Delaney (centre) says the association will not be rushed into an appointment. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

FAI chief executive John Delaney (centre) says the association will not be rushed into an appointment. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho


FAI chief executive John Delaney says the association’s Board will meet within a matter of days to discuss candidates to succeed Giovanni Trapattoni, but insists an appointment may yet be some way off.

Delaney returned from a Uefa Conference in Croatia yesterday and revealed the new manager might not be in place in time for next month’s World Cup qualifiers with Germany and Kazakhstan.

“Logistically it has been very difficult, I had a private function I had to attend in Italy last weekend. Since Monday I have been in Croatia at Uefa meetings with the president Paddy McCaul. We were speaking about TV rights deals to whether Qatar should be summer or winter for the 2022 World Cup,” Delaney said. “Over the next few days we will certainly work out a process as regards the new manager. It is more important that we take time to make the right appointment. We have time on our hands. Next September is our next qualifying game of importance.

“In October we play Germany and Kazakhstan, but they are not of importance in terms of qualifying. That is not going to happen, we all accept that. What we will do over the next number of days is establish a Board meeting. Then we will put a job description and process together. A lot of candidates have already applied and we have to work out a process. Getting the right man in is the priority, not the timescale.

“You’d like a manager to be in place before the upcoming games, but it is not a must do. We would like it to be, but it is not a must do. If we have to wait past them games to get the right man in, we will wait past them games.”

Darron Gibson’s intention to make himself available for international selection is a boost, according to Delaney, who is looking forward to a “new era”.

“We’ve got some very good young footballers coming through. Séamus Coleman, James McCarthy, Shane Long, Marc Wilson, Robbie Brady. It is good news that Darron Gibson is coming back and made himself available again; he is a quality player,” was Delaney’s assessment. “I hope other players who in the past didn’t make themselves available for various reasons do so. It will be a new era for Irish football when the new manager is appointed. There are good young players coming through and the new manager when he looks at it, will see that. Some people have forgotten that 24 teams go to the Euros next time around so that makes it easier to qualify.”

With Denis O’Brien continuing to provide financial backing Delaney is content that a suitable boss can be located. “Denis O’Brien is back on board from a financial perspective and that gives us the stability to pay a decent salary in the market if we so wish to do. All those things have helped significantly and will assist the new manager when he comes in; having quality players and having an increased chance of qualifying for a major tournament and Denis’ support attracting interest in the job.”

Former Sunderland and Celtic manager Martin O’Neill remains the firm-favourite for the job.

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