Former Ireland underage manager Sean McCaffrey dies aged 58

McCaffrey managed the Ireland Under 17, U18 and U19 teams over a seven-year period

Former Republic of Ireland underage manager Sean McCaffrey has died aged 58.

McCaffrey, who helped establish Monaghan United, also enjoyed a short spell in charge of Dundalk FC in 2012.

McCaffrey managed the Ireland Under 17, U18 and U19 teams over a seven-year period. During that time he led the U17s to the UEFA U17 European Championships in 2008.

John Delaney, CEO of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) said McCaffrey was “truly an inspirational character and someone who made a difference at all levels of the game”.

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“While many people will rightly praise Sean for leading his Under 17 team in 2008 to the European Championships in Turkey, his real legacy lies with the numbers of players that he helped produce for the men’s senior team, which was well into double figures and included the likes of Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick, James McCarthy, Darren Randolph and Aiden McGeady.

“Quite simply, Sean McCaffrey was a football man. He was passionate about the development of the game, he drove Irish football on, and he was always the same, whether he was dealing with a schoolboy starting out or one of the country’s elite players.”

The FAI will make a special presentation remembering McCaffrey’s contribution to Irish football in the New Year.

Dundalk FC said in a statement: “We all offer our support and condolences to Sean’s family and friends at this difficult time.

“Sean was an inspiring figure for many young footballers who represented Ireland during his time as coach of the U17, U18 and U19 teams. Sean had previously being appointed manager of Monaghan United in 1983 at just 23 years old.”

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times