Sunday 20 May 2018

Departing Givens insists he made call to walk away from U-21 job

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

DON GIVENS last night insisted that it was his decision to relinquish his role as Ireland U-21 manager rather than a case of jumping before he was pushed.

The 60-year-old will take up a new role overseeing the FAI's UK scouting network after announcing that his 10-year tenure in charge of the U-21 side is over.

His side have struggled desperately in recent campaigns, finishing bottom in their last completed group and heading for the same position this time around with successive defeats to Armenia drawing sharp criticism.

Givens subsequently met with FAI CEO John Delaney and High Performance Director Wim Koevermans, and says he suggested then that a change might be for the best. "I can honestly say it was my initiative to step down," Givens told Newstalk's 'Off The Ball'.


"As there would be in any association, there would be questions asked and rightly so after losing those games. It was very much of my reckoning to step down.

"The two performances against Armenia were poor. I felt it was time to assess the situation and get involved in a different role.

"I sat back and looked at it and discussed the situation with Wim and John Delaney and then came to the decision that I think it would be better now (to move on)."

Givens will retain a six-figure salary in his new brief, while Koevermans will oversee the search for a replacement. The Irish U-21 side aren't scheduled to play again until August, when Estonia visit these shores.

"I would like to wish Don well in new role as chief scout in the UK and thank him for his time with the U-21 squad," said Koevermans.

"After almost a decade in charge of this age level, the time is right to introduce a new manager and we expect to make this appointment before the next U-21 match."

Irish Independent

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