Sport Soccer

Saturday 24 March 2018

Drogheda set to appeal over FAI veto on new manager

Neil Ahern

Drogheda UNITED'S board of directors will meet this weekend to consider appealing the decision of the FAI's Independent Licensing Committee not to allow Darius Kierans continue as manager of the club.

There was a reaction of dismay from the Boyneside club yesterday after Wednesday night's statement, which ruled that Kierans did not have the sufficient coaching qualifications to take full charge of the Premier Division team.

This, despite the fact that Alan Mathews' successor is due to complete his UEFA A Licence coaching course, which would make him eligible to take over at Hunky Dorys Park at the beginning of September.

The Boynesiders are now considering their options amid speculation that Kierans will remain on the sidelines for the Drogs in some guise other than first-team manager.

The 31-year-old is expected to stay at the club either way -- he is also in charge of the underage system and 'A' championship team.


Club chairman Jim McArdle couldn't hide his disappointment at the decision yesterday.

"We cited Irish precedents to this and we also cited English precedents. We thought we had a watertight case and that the licensing department would show a bit of discretion," he said.

One of the precedents is the case of Ian Foster. He did not possess a UEFA 'A' Licence when he took charge of Galway United last season following the departure of Jeff Kenna, but the current Dundalk manager was given time by the FAI to complete his course, while remaining in charge of the Terryland Park outfit.

"There are also a number of other circumstances. It's been a difficult season financially for us, too, and this means we have to go and find a third management team in less than a year," said McArdle.

"The most disappointing thing, though, is that there was a sea change in the way the team were playing under Darius, he has also brought a number of young players from the underage set-up into the senior squad, so he would have been an integral part of bringing the club forward."

Irish Independent

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