Friday 19 October 2018

'It's a beautiful part of the world' - soccer legends Redknapp and Vialli relishing new Gaelic football roles

Gianluca Vialli immersed by AIB into the back-room team of Finglas club, Erins Isle. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Gianluca Vialli immersed by AIB into the back-room team of Finglas club, Erins Isle. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Max Ryan

Harry Redknapp has made a surprise return to management to coach West Cork Gaelic football team Castlehaven GAA.

Speaking on talkSPORT’s Breakfast Show on Wednesday morning, the former Birmingham boss revealed that he has taken the reins at Castlehaven for the purposes of a documentary called ‘The Toughest Rivalry.’

Redknapp is not the only famous former soccer manager stepping out of his comfort zone as ex Chelsea manager Gianluca Vialli will be in the opposing dugout with Finglas outfit Erin’s Isle.

“I’m in Ireland,” he told host Alan Brazil. “I’ve been managing a Gaelic football team.

“I’m filming a documentary where I’m managing one team and Gianluca Vialli is managing the other team.”

The former West Ham legend, who has previous involvement with London GAA having spent time with their manager and former QPR youth team coach Ciarán Deely, was full of praise for Castlehaven and its inhabitants.

West Corks Castlehaven GAA Club, where Harry Redknapp will have taken the reigns. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
West Corks Castlehaven GAA Club, where Harry Redknapp will have taken the reigns. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

“It’s a beautiful part of the world with great people,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed myself.”

Having worked with the likes of Gareth Bale and Luka Modrić in soccer management, Redknapp is no stranger to elite athletes, but Deely told the Irish Sun last week that the former Portsmouth boss was taken with the players’ ability.

“He was talking about how the Gaelic players were so skilled, he was very interested in the way they kicked the ball with a curve or a swerve on it,” he said.

“I think it was his first exposure to the game so it was nice to hear him talk so positively about the skills of Gaelic football.”

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