Stephen Kenny has recruited former international Dean Kiely to replace Alan Kelly as goalkeeping coach in the Ireland senior set up. The 50 year-old, who won 11 caps over the course of two spells in the squad, is currently part of Roy Hodgson's management team at Crystal Palace, a role he will retain.
Kiely was a member of the Irish squad at the World Cup in 2002 but stepped away from international football the following year, frustrated at his lack of actual game time. He returned five years later but departed again in April 2009 after being overlooked when he felt he would play.
The Salford born former Charlton, Portsmouth and West Brom player has established a strong reputation as a coach since retirement having worked with West Brom, Norwich and Preston before taking up his current role in south London three years ago.
“It was a tremendous honour to represent Ireland as a player and now, to get the opportunity to represent my country as a coach, it brings up exactly the same emotions,” he said as his new role was announced.
“I’ve always watched from afar as a fan and I really believe there are exciting times ahead in Irish football. We’ve got a real blend of experience and young players with potential coming into the squad. It is something I’m desperate to be a part of and I’m already looking forward to the qualifiers in March.”
For Kenny, it looks to be a good appointment after a period in which he had been weighing up his options on a couple of fronts following the departures in quick success of Kelly and Damien Duff.
“Dean has had an exceptional career both as a goalkeeper and a coach, he has been coaching international goalkeepers in the Premier League for many seasons now,” says the manager.
“His sheer enthusiasm and his sense of pride at the prospect of representing Ireland is very uplifting, and the current crop of talented goalkeepers in the squad will benefit from his expertise and experience.”
A decision on a replacement for Duff is expected to be made over the coming weeks.