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Doolin gets to work with U18 and U19s

PAUL DOOLIN will get straight to work as the new manager of the Ireland U19 and U18 sides as he's off to Bulgaria next month for the start of the European Championship qualifying campaign.

The FAI have been on the lookout for a new manager since the dismissal of Sean McCaffrey last month, who got the boot despite a more impressive record in qualifying than former U21 boss Don Givens, now head of the FAI's scouting network.

And, as with the employment of ladies' manager Noel King as Givens's replacement, the FAI have kept affairs in-house by asking U23 team manager Doolin to look after the U18s and U19s too, his appointment confirmed yesterday.

Doolin will have his first game in less than two weeks as the U19s play Luxembourg on October 7 in the Euro qualifiers, before playing tournament host nation Bulgaria and Serbia.

Emile Heskey is backing Gerard Houllier to repeat the success he experienced at Liverpool during his reign as Aston Villa manager.

Heskey knows first-hand about the qualities of Houllier, who signed him for the Reds a decade ago.

Heskey made a sparkling start in Houllier's first game in charge, scoring one and setting up two goals for Ashley Young in a 3-1 win over Blackburn in the Carling Cup.

He said: "It's nice to be reunited with the manager. I know all about him and fingers crossed he will bring good times back to Villa.

"He did brilliantly at Liverpool and I am sure he can do the same here."