Sunday 15 September 2019

'I don't mind once it's the right person for the job' - McCabe has no issue with FAI appointing manager from within

Republic of Ireland Captain Katie McCabe was in Tallaght Football Stadium today to announce the launch of Boots Ireland three-year sponsorship with the FAI as partner of the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team. ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
Republic of Ireland Captain Katie McCabe was in Tallaght Football Stadium today to announce the launch of Boots Ireland three-year sponsorship with the FAI as partner of the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team. ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

John Fallon

Ireland women’s captain Katie McCabe says she doesn’t mind not having a permanent manager for the Euro qualification opener on Tuesday week as the FAI continue their search for Colin Bell’s replacement.

Preparations for the new campaign, which kick off against Montenegro at Tallaght Stadium, were rocked when Bell quit in July to take up a role with Huddersfield Town.

Although Megan Campbell insisted she was against the FAI appointing a successor from within, suggesting it would risk some senior players retiring, McCabe doesn’t apply such a restriction.

The Arsenal forward would have no issue with existing FAI staff, such as Under-19 manager Dave Connell, taking control provided they met the job specificiation.

The association have completed a second round of interviews with an appointment understood to be a couple of weeks away.

Maren Meinert, who recently quit as Germany’s Under-19 manager, and former England assistant manager Marieanne Spacey have been linked with the vacancy.

McCabe and her colleagues, however, have been informed that Tom O’Connor will be remain in caretaker charge for the opening qualifier.

Bell’s former assistant, an FAI employee, was at the helm for the friendly defeat to recently-crowned world champions USA earlier this month and will assemble the panel next Monday at Dunboyne Castle Hotel for the build-up to the first of their competitive matches.

"Players have different opinions but as a team we’re very much on the same page in terms of what we want going forward," said McCabe, ahead of Arsenal defending their Women’s Super League title.

"I don’t mind if it’s an internal or external appointment, once it’s the right person for the job.

"I’ve played for Dave Connell in a very successful Under-19 team that reached the semi-finals of the Euros. Some players have and some haven’t. You can’t please everyone.

"There may be different opinions but the most important thing is that people aren’t on different pages going into this game against Montenegro.

"The timing of Colin’s departure was unfortunate but I know the FAI are doing everything they can to get the right manager.

"Right now, we’re confident in Tom. He was Colin’s assistant so knows how to get the best out of the team."

Ireland face Germany, Ukraine, Greece and Montenegro in their bid to break their qualifying duck, requiring a top-two finish to reach the 2021 Euro finals hosted by England.

Katie McCabe was in Tallaght Football Stadium today to announce the launch of Boots Ireland three-year sponsorship with the FAI as partner of the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team.  With the aim of boosting confidence in girls and women, Katie was joined by her sister Lauryn McCabe (11) and also Holly Gobbet (11), who both play for Kilnamanagh AFC Under 13’s, based in Tallaght.

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