Sunday 16 December 2018

'It's in writing' - Stephen Kenny confirms he'll be replacing McCarthy after Euro 2020 - no matter what

Newly appointed Republic of Ireland U21 manager Stephen Kenny during a press conference at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Newly appointed Republic of Ireland U21 manager Stephen Kenny during a press conference at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

Stephen Kenny has confirmed that there are no circumstances under which he will not succeed Mick McCarthy as Ireland senior team manager in August 2020.

“Decisions have already been made,” confirmed Kenny of the FAI plan to install him as manager in 2020.

“In August 2020, it has been decided, in writing.

“I'm perfectly happy with the arrangement, delighted with it. I'm hoping to do it justice.

“If Mick gets Ireland to the Euros and does well, I'll be delighted and then taking over a confident team.

“It would be great for him, his stock would be high, and great for the country. It would only be good news.”

Kenny admitted that he has no qualms taking on a role with the FAI that he had reportedly refused to accept only a few days earlier.

“I wasn't offered the senior job, it's a hypothetical question about whether I was offered the Under 21 job. There had been some discussions. We are where we are now and I am comfortable with this.

“This is the position I've been offered and I'm very happy to be offered it. It's a privilege.”

Kenny doesn't feel he will have any difficulties working with the FAI or the new senior manager.

“I met up with Robbie Keane and Mick McCarthy last night and it was all fine. I hadn't met Mick in 15 years but I think I can only learn from him in the intervening period.

“There is some great work going in our under-age teams and I am now part of the FAI's vision for that.

“My relationship with the FAI has always been good I feel, it has never been fraught. I've obviously never worked here, although I was part of an U16 team that went to Israel for a few weeks a long time ago.”

Kenny admitted that leaving double winners Dundalk, who are seeded in next season's Champions League qualifiers, was the most difficult part of the week.

“It is a real wrench to leave Dundalk, they were a special group to work with and there was a unique bond between the club, the supporters and the town and I would have been reluctant to leave unless it was for something special.

“But this is a special opportunity and I couldn't turn it down.”

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