FAI set new deadline of next week to announce Ireland manager

After missing out on preferred candidates, previous deadlines in February and early April were missed by the association

The FAI have set a new deadline of next week to announce the next men’s Republic of Ireland manager.

It is 140 days since the association parted company with Stephen Kenny. The previous record, between the departure of Steve Staunton and hiring Giovanni Trapattoni in February 2008, was 112 days.

Following a “robust” recruitment process conducted by director of football Marc Canham, John O’Shea took the position on an interim basis for last month’s friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland at the Aviva Stadium.

Despite Ireland’s failure to score a goal in the scoreless draw with Belgium and 1-0 loss to the Swiss, the former Manchester United defender remains in contention to receive a four-year contract from the FAI. O’Shea was not initially interviewed for the position due to his lack of experience.


In December, chief executive Jonathan Hill said that the FAI aim to appoint a manager before the Nations League draw in Paris on February 8th. They subsequently pointed towards an “early April” announcement, with Canham noting their preferred candidate had “existing contractual obligations”.

This suggested that moves were afoot to entice either Greece manager Gus Poyet or Georgia coach Willy Sagnol. However, budgetary constraints seemingly scuppered talks with Poyet.

Lee Carsley was the initial favourite for the job but the England under-21 manager recently revealed that he only had one conversation with the FAI back in November.

Neil Lennon, Chris Coleman and Chris Hughton were also connected to the role while Shelbourne manager Damien Duff received an indirect approach which he labelled a “box ticking” exercise.

Anthony Barry was the latest man to be reportedly approached but the current Bayern Munich and Portugal assistant coach is being linked to Sporting Lisbon if their manager Ruben Amorim replaces Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool.

Meanwhile, the FAI have appointed Hannah Dingley as their head of women and girls’ football, replacing Eileen Gleeson who was made Ireland women’s head coach in December. Dingley leaves her current job as Forest Green Rovers academy manager on May 20th.

“Following a very thorough process that involved many excellent candidates, we are excited to have Hannah come in as our new head of women and girls’ football to continue the excellent work that is being done to develop the game at all levels,” said Canham, via a press release.

“Hannah is an experienced coach with a background in the development of women’s football and is someone who will bring fresh ideas and expertise to an important role in the football division that will help the association to fulfill the full potential of women and girls’ football.”

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey is The Irish Times' Soccer Correspondent