John Delaney insists Noel King is not in the running
Trevor Croly feels predecessor entitled to be considered a contender if he wins two qualifiers
FAI Chief Executive John Delaney with Johnny Fullam (Shamrock Rovers) and goalkeeper Eamon D’Arcy (Drumcondra), members of the League of Ireland team that defeated the English football league team 2-1 in 1963 who were honoured at a Legends Lunch in Dublin. Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Shamrock Rovers boss Trevor Croly may have insisted yesterday that his predecessor should be entitled to be considered a contender to succeed Giovanni Trapattoni on a permanent basis if results go his way this month, but John Delaney made it clear that Noel King is simply not in the running to land the job.
“Noel stepped in at the right time for us at this juncture (but) I think Noel knows on this occasion that he won’t be the manager of the Irish team going forward,” said the FAI chief executive.
“But it (taking charge for this month’s qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan) is great for his CV and he has approached it with great professionalism.
“He has done great work at under-21 level and coaching level and is a great ambassador for the FAI. I couldn’t speak higher of Noel in terms of the current work he does for the association.”
Still, he made clear the 57-year-old Dubliner will not be on any short list compiled for a vacancy that Delaney insists will be filled within the next couple of months.
“He won’t be on this occasion,” he said. “I think that is fair and he would understand that.
“He is just thrilled to get the opportunity to do it and please God he does very well over the two games as Germany away doesn’t come much tougher.”
Asked whether the new man will be in place this side of Christmas, Delaney was positive.
“I’d hope so for sure . . . I don’t want to put any great timescales on it but that’s the ambition for sure. You’d like to have it done and dusted well before Christmas. But, again, if the right person becomes available and says we can’t start until a certain time, that’s the way we’ll play it.”
With Martin O’Neill far from the nailed-on favourite he seemed a few weeks ago, and other contenders entering and exiting the speculation regarding the job at a remarkable rate, Delaney was reluctant to be drawn on the current state of the selection process.
“I wouldn’t comment on any specific candidate or potential candidate,” he said, “but I think we’ve all seen bookies.
“Last time around, when Trapattoni eventually got the job, there must have been five, six, seven favourites in every different odd week.
“The reality is that there will be a manager of the Irish team. There’s been a higher level of interest than I’ve ever seen in my time and what we want to do is appoint the right person to make sure that the Irish team goes to France in 2016.”
Croly, meanwhile, said that King should be a contender if he somehow managed to engineer two World Cup wins this month. However, failing that, he said, the under-21 coach should be retained in the senior set-up as a link between the new regime and the local game.
“There should be a link,” he said, pointing to the success enjoyed by Brian Kerr with Irish Youth teams on a European stage and arguing that the FAI should be doing it’s utmost to coax the the best out if this and future generations of league managers.
“Look back on the Scottish managers; they all went to the World Cup finals. If someone is as good as Giovanni Trapattoni, why were we not learning off him?
“Why pay him just to manage the team? Why are we not exposed to his wisdom? Whether it’s Noel (King) or not, there should be a link to the senior team.”