It was confirmed earlier today that Stephen Kenny will take Mick McCarthy’s place at the helm as Republic of Ireland senior manager with immediate effect.
McCarthy took over in November 2018, leading the nation through a tough, but successful EURO 2020 qualifying campaign.
McCarthy was due to lead us into a Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia on March 26th. However the coronavirus pandemic saw that fixture postponed, with the European Championships moved back to 2021.
Former Dundalk boss and current Ireland Under-21 manager Kenny was set to take over from McCarthy on August 1st. He will now take over with immediate effect.
Mick McCarthy’s second stint in charge of the Republic of Ireland is over, with Stephen Kenny taking the senior role with immediate effect, the FAI have announced.
McCarthy took over in November 2018, and was due to lead into a Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia on March 26th.
However the coronavirus pandemic saw that fixture postponed, with the European Championships moved back to 2021.
Former Dundalk boss and current Ireland Under-21 manager Kenny was set to take over from McCarthy on August 1st, but he takes over now in order to plan for the Slovakia play-off.
An FAI statement read: “The Football Association of Ireland announces that Mick McCarthy is to be succeeded as national team manager by Stephen Kenny with immediate effect. The handover has been agreed with both men in light of the delay to the European Championship play-offs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Mick McCarthy’s contract was due to expire on July 31st after the Uefa Euro 2020 finals, with Stephen initially scheduled to step up from his Under-21 team role on August 1st. This move allows Stephen Kenny time to plan for the European Championship play-off semi-final against Slovakia later in the year.”
FAI CEO Gary Owens said: “This has been a difficult situation for the Association – and for Mick and Stephen in particular – in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the effect it has had on the football calendar.
“On behalf of President Gerry McAnaney, the Board of the FAI and myself, I want to thank both men for their professionalism and their understanding in their dealings with the Association in these unprecedented circumstances. These are exceptional times in Irish life and Mick has taken that into account in agreeing to vacate the post early.
“On behalf of the FAI, I wish to express our gratitude to Mick for his service and commitment to our national team throughout his career and particularly in his second spell as Ireland manager. We wish Mick and his staff well and we thank them all for their hard work in this European Championship campaign to date.
“Stephen will now begin his planning for the play-off against Slovakia and everyone at the FAI wishes him well in our bid to qualify for Euro 2020. Football will be back and we have so much to look forward to now in the autumn with the Nations League and the Uefa Euro 2020 play-off, followed by the World Cup qualifiers in early 2021.”
McCarthy’s last match as republic of Ireland manager saw us earn a well-fought 1-1 draw with Denmark, just missing out on automatic qualification but earning a well deserved play-off spot!
Stephen Kenny comes in with a wealth of experience having formerly managed League of Ireland clubs such as Derry City and Dundalk as well as the Republic of Ireland U21 squad. Exciting times lie ahead for sure!