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Kenny takes new broom to backroom Ireland staff


Ruaidhri Higgins

Ruaidhri Higgins


Ruaidhri Higgins

New Ireland manager Stephen Kenny is reviewing his entire backroom staff with changes planned beyond the front-of-house coaching appointments.

It emerged over the weekend that Kenny is returning to former club Dundalk to recruit their assistant manager Ruaidhrí Higgins.

The ex-midfielder played for Kenny at Derry and Dundalk before joining his coaching staff at Oriel Park as an opposition analyst and it's expected he will be deployed in this area.

Dundalk are prepared to look for compensation for Higgins, who is under contract, with work to be done before the deal is completely finalised.

Kenny said he will be speaking with U-21 strength and conditioning coach Damien Doyle about coming with him into the senior dressing-room.

Kenny is looking at every role within the existing first team set-up with his sudden elevation bringing forward decisions that he was initially planning to make in August.

The first priority was confirming the arrivals of assistant Keith Andrews and coach Damien Duff and the retention of goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly.


McCarthy's assistant Terry Connor left with him and it's well documented that Robbie Keane is not in the manager's plans.

"It's always good when you are coming in to create a new team," said Kenny. "That's what I've found in the past. I'm very clear on the demarcation of roles.

"We haven't finalised any of the other details with the rest of the backroom team. We thought initially we had until August to gradually sort all of that out. I'll be working on that over the next two weeks. I didn't want to make all of the decisions quickly."

The FAI's interim deputy CEO Niall Quinn last night hailed Duff's capture, but did not address Keane's position.

"To have Damien is fantastic, he's made so many friends and admirers in terms of his coaching ability. We're thrilled to have that, and we're thrilled to back Stephen. That's the big thing. Stephen is as excited as anyone,"he told Virgin Media Sport.

Irish Independent

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