John Delaney reveals significant interest in Republic of Ireland manager’s position

FAI chief executive insists appointment may take some time

 Martin O’Neill: is believed to be the preferred candidate of several leading members of theFAI.

Martin O’Neill: is believed to be the preferred candidate of several leading members of theFAI.


FAI chief executive John Delaney says that there has been significant interest in the vacant Republic of Ireland manager’s position and while acknowledging the case to be made for Martin O’Neill he insists an appointment may take some time with the association aiming to weigh up their options before naming Giovanni Trapattoni’s successor.

“We are in a process,” he said. “I’d love to be announcing whoever the new manager is today if that were possible, but it’s not. It will take a little bit of time given the fact the board of the FAI have yet to meet. We will look at the job description, who has applied and then the process as to how to appoint.”

Preferred candidate
Pressed on O’Neill, who is believed to be the preferred candidate of several leading members of the organisation, he said: “I have no problem saying that Martin O’Neill has been a terrific manager in his career; a terrific man and I admire him very, very much.

“But I wouldn’t comment on Martin O’Neill or any other person as to whether they will be the next Ireland manager because that would be unfair.”

Representatives of the former Inter, Valencia and Parma boss, Hector Cuper have said the 57-year-old is interested in the job and Delaney says there have been other enquiries from “credible candidates”, but he declined to name any names.

“There has been a big interest in the job and there are reasons for that,” he says. “Twenty four teams will go to the Euros so it is easier to qualify and despite what some people have said, we do have good young players.

“Denis O’Brien has been brilliant supporting the manager project and is staying on for at least another two years so that gives us the support in the market if we so wish to attract, I won’t say big names, but a good manager. All of that has made the job very attractive.”

Amongst the candidates to be mentioned most regularly has been Roy Keane and Delaney says he would not rule out working with the former Manchester united skipper despite their differences in the past.

“I will work with whoever is presented to us to make Irish football great,” he says, noting that Saipan is 11 in the past now. “No personal issues that may have been there in the past should stop people working together for the sake of Irish football.”

It is still uncertain when the board will formally meet for the first time to consider the position but with leading members of the association in Croatia at the moment for a Uefa event the end of this week seems likely at this stage. However, no meeting has been scheduled as of yet.