Sunday 16 December 2018

Ex-Ireland stalwart Carsley takes up coaching role with English FA

Republic of Ireland's Lee Carsley has been appointed to the England u-19's coaching staff
Republic of Ireland's Lee Carsley has been appointed to the England u-19's coaching staff Newsdesk Newsdesk

In a move that is sure to miff Robbie Keane, his former Ireland team-mate, Lee Carsley has been appointed to the coaching staff of England's U-19 squad, writes John Fallon.

The Ireland captain two years ago hit out at the FAI for the lack of opportunities afforded to ex-internationals in development roles within the association's underage squads.

Keane cited the involvement of the Neville brothers, Gary and Phil, with the English FA as an example to contrast the policy of the FAI.

Although Kenny Cunningham and Mark Kinsella have since helped out on an ad-hoc basis as ambassadors with the U-15 squad, none of the main panels at U-17, U-19 or U-21 levels possess a former Ireland player either as coach or within the backroom team.

The headhunting of England U-19 boss Aidy Boothroyd of Carsley - whom he played under at Coventry City - highlights the issue raised by Keane.

Former Everton and Derby County midfielder Carsley has spent the last week on tour with the Three Lions for their games against Germany and Croatia following his appointment.

English-born Carsley, who won 40 Ireland caps from 1997-2008, had, along with fellow former stalwart Kevin Kilbane, offered to work with the FAI's underage teams.

Subsequent discussions held between Kilbane and FAI High Performance director Ruud Dokter failed to result in the centurion being brought on board whilst the silence towards Carsley was stony.

Meanwhile, Ireland U-21 skipper Tommie Hoban insists his side will have to overcome Andorra's gamesmanship tactics in today's UEFA European Championship qualifier in Andorra La Velle (4.0, Irish time).

The Group Two minnows frustrated Noel King's side for large parts of the campaign opener in March when Dylan Connolly's winner avoided an early setback in their quest to reach the 2017 finals in Poland.

"Andorra will do their best to slow the game down, so we'll have to be patient," said the 21-year-old Londoner, who declared for Ireland at 15 through his Dublin-born mother.

"We watched a video of their victory over Lithuania from June and it was crazy. They were time-wasting like against us."

King is likely to hand first competitive caps at this level to English-born duo Josh Cullen and Reece Grego-Cox.

Manchester City pair Jack Byrne and Ian Lawlor miss out through injury.

IRELAND U-21 (Probable) - D Rogers (Falkirk); B Lenihan (Hull City), T Hoban (Watford), D Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers), S Kavanagh (Fulham); G Rea (Southend Utd), J Cullen (West Ham Utd); D Connolly (Ipswich Town), R Crego-Cox (QPR), C O'Dowda (Oxford Utd); C Wilkinson (Barnsley).

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