Shane Keegan to take leading role with Dundalk this season
Club working on getting Filippo Giovagnoli on to a Pro Licence course
Shane Keegan and Filippo Giovagnoli at a press conference ahead of the Europa League game against Rapid Vienna in Austria last November. Photograph: Philipp Brem/Inpho/GEPA Pictures
Dundalk say they have reorganised their management structure ahead of the new season with Shane Keegan taking on more responsibility as the club look to get Filippo Giovagnoli on the Pro Licence course he needs to complete in order to be eligible to have the title “manager”.
Keegan will, as before, have that again for the coming campaign but now says that he will actually have final say on matters such as team selection with the Italian, who had previously been in charge, feeding into what the club says will be a collaborative process.
At a media event on Tuesday, also attended by sporting director Jim Magilton but not Giovagnoli, the former Wexford and Galway United boss played down the shift in levels of responsibility but assuming this is not simply the club doubling down on last season’s charade, it would represent a significant change in set-up.
“People are used to certain structures within a club,” Keegan said, “and the structure within this club is going to be a little different than what people are used to in terms of decision making.
“I don’t think there will be an Alex Ferguson type figure in terms of complete and utter dominance, somebody who makes all of the decisions himself. There will be collaborative decisions. The first-team coaching staff is up to about six or seven, not including Jim and we will be bouncing things off him.
“So I will be taking an awful lot of opinions on board when we are trying to make a decision but at the end of the day, I suppose, the buck will stop with me.”
Magilton said that the changes were rooted in a need to be more properly compliant with rules that oblige clubs to have a Pro Licence holder in the manager’s role. Keegan, who does possess one, nominally held the title last year and publicly performed it around Europa League games. But the club was still punished with a €50,000 fine after Giovagnoli was found to have been “shadow coaching” in one of the early group games.
The club, which is far from the first to have put itself in the position, will now try to get Giovagnoli on to a Pro Licence course at the earlier possible opportunity, said the former Northern Ireland international.
“We are just trying to put a structure in place that is best practice,” he said. “We’re all aware of our position; it’s public knowledge and we are just trying to put things right in terms of that. We are looking to get him on the Pro Licence [course] as soon as possible.”