Former Finn Harps midfielder Tom Mohan has been appointed manager of the Irish Under-19 team following the recent departure of Paul Doolin after six years in charge.
Mohan had been favourite to land the post having held the Under-17 job in recent years and successfully guided that side to last summer’s European Championships in Bulgaria.
The team narrowly missed out on this year's finals earlier this month but the association has picked him ahead of a strong field with former senior internationals Kenny Cunningham and Keith Andrews and a number of candidates with strong Airtricity League experience including Johnny McDonnell among those in the running for the position.
Andrews, a first team coach at MK Dons, is actually doing some work with Colin O’Brien’s Irish Under-15 side this week as they play two friendly internationals against the Czech Republic and Cunningham has performed a similar role before, helping out with coaching and speaking to the players in an attempt to pass on some of his experience. Ireland won the first of those friendlies 5-2 on Monday evening.
Mohan’s experience of working within the association’s set up over a number of years clearly stood to him, however.
"I am very happy with the appointment," said the FAI's High Performance Director, Ruud Dokter. "Tom has proven to be the preferred candidate for the role. He has been with the Under-17s for nine years (initially in an assistant role) and has become an expert in underage international football. Amongst others, continuity and consistency is very important to progress our young talented players and Tom brings both of those qualities with his experience."
He will start the new job in May and his first major test in the job will be to oversee the team’s attempt to qualify for the 2017 European finals in Georgia but a good deal of his day to day work will involve monitoring the progress of players in the national Under-19 league here.
“I hope my experience with the Under-17s will stand to me as I know how much of a challenge this position will be with the competition around Europe improving year on year,” he said in a statement.
The association will now look recruit a replacement to take charge of the Under-17 team and may use the opportunity to bring in a former senior international.