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Anthony Hudson back in the frame for Republic of Ireland manager’s job

Former New Zealand head coach is available after leaving his most recent post with Al-Markiyah in Qatar

Anthony Hudson has re-emerged as a contender for the vacant Republic of Ireland manager’s job. The 43-year-old as interviewed by the FAI earlier this year and the association made contact with him again in recent weeks. Hudson has international experience coaching New Zealand and as the USA assistant to Gregg Berhalter at the last World Cup in Qatar.

Hudson has not been offered the position as Stephen Kenny’s successor but along with Willy Sagnol, Slaven Bilic, Chris Hughton – and interim manager John O’Shea – appears to be on the shortlist of names under the consideration of FAI director of football Marc Canham and the board at Abbotstown.

Hudson is available after leaving his most recent post with Al-Markiyah in Qatar. He was only there for three games and departed following an issue over team selection. He is not thought to be the preferred choice for Ireland as things stand, but with the situation fluid, remains an option the FAI could turn to.

In his in-house FAI interview in mid-April, Canham said the association had spoken to coaches who are “available” and to some with “contractual arrangements that are already existing”.


This has been interpreted as a reference to Sagnol, who has led Georgia to the European Championships in Germany via their playoff victory over Greece. Georgia, in a group with Portugal, Czech Republic and Turkey, play their third game on June 26th in Gelsenkirchen.

Sagnol, whose German adviser was contacted by The Irish Times, is contracted to the Georgian FA until then, but if the tournament is viewed as a success in Georgia then the 47-year-old Frenchman is likely to be offered an extension and possibly at a salary higher than the FAI can afford. Sagnol won 58 caps for France as a defender.

If the FAI are waiting on Sagnol, then it is likely to be July before a decision can be made. Other candidates will be forced to be patient but can also look elsewhere.

Hudson, born in Seattle and the son of the legendary Chelsea and England playmaker, Alan, began his coaching career in America and after the Qatar World Cup, when Berhalter’s contract expired, was appointed as interim USA manager. He had previously taken New Zealand to a World Cup playoff against Peru in 2017.

After managing Croatia for six years and then at clubs around the world, Bilic has been working in the Saudi Arabia Pro League with Al-Fateh.

O’Shea remains as interim and is gaining experience game-by-game of international management, and of the internal workings of the FAI. Whoever is appointed, their first competitive game will be against England in Dublin in the Nations League on September 7th.

Michael Walker

Michael Walker

Michael Walker is a contributor to The Irish Times, specialising in soccer