Tuesday 17 September 2019

Stephen Kenny admitted to hospital in Sweden after becoming unwell in airport following U-21 win

Republic of Ireland U21 manager Stephen Kenny following the UEFA European U21 Championship Qualifier Group 1 match between Republic of Ireland and Armenia at Tallaght Stadium in Tallaght, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland U21 manager Stephen Kenny following the UEFA European U21 Championship Qualifier Group 1 match between Republic of Ireland and Armenia at Tallaght Stadium in Tallaght, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

John Fallon

STEPHEN KENNY had been complaining of feeling unwell in the hours leading up to being hospitalised in Sweden yesterday afternoon.

The FAI today confirmed that their U-21 manager, due for promotion to the senior post next summer, will remain in hospital for a few days following his health scare.

Following Tuesday night’s epic 3-1 victory over the Swedes in Kalmar, Kenny, his staff and most of his players were travelling to Vaxjo Airport to catch a flight to Amsterdam on the first leg of their trip home.

It is understood the Dubliner felt sick overnight but his condition only became of concern as he entered the airport.

His players had already passed through the security channel when their manager sat down under the supervision of the FAI’s medical staff.

They then took a swift decision to seek further assistance at the local hospital.

The players, naturally concerned at their manager’s wellbeing, were informed upon landing in Amsterdam of his stable condition.

The squad’s physiotherapist Kevin Mulholland accompanied the players and relayed the positive update from the team doctor.

An FAI statement released this afternoon read: "Republic of Ireland Under 21 boss Stephen Kenny has remained in Sweden after becoming unwell on Wednesday as his squad made their way home from Tuesday night’s European Championship qualifier in Kalmar.

"Stephen was examined by the FAI’s medical staff and decided to stay behind for treatment at a local hospital. Stephen expects to be discharged in the coming days and is looking forward to beginning preparations ahead of the two European Under-21 Championship qualifiers next month.”

Kenny has overseen a stunning first international campaign. Ireland sit top of their group with a maximum nine points after Tuesday’s 3-1 win against the second seeds in Kalmar was tacked onto victories over Luxembourg and Armenia.

There’s no suggestion that Kenny won’t be back on the touchline for next month’s crucial double-header.

Ireland host seeds Italy to Tallaght Stadium on October 10 before trekking to with Iceland five days later.

Irish U-21 teams have never come close to reaching a major tournament and only the top nation is guaranteed a place at the 2021 finals.

However, following an expansion to a 16-nation finals, a runners-up finish will guarantee a play-off.

Kenny was appointed Ireland U-21 boss in November 2018, with an agreement put in place that he will succeed Mick McCarthy as manager of the senior team following Euro 2020.

Prior to taking up a position with the U-21 side, Kenny enjoyed a very successful spell with Dundalk, winning four league titles in five years as well as a double in his final season.

He has also had spells managing Longford Town, Bohemians, Derry City, Shamrock Rovers and Dunfermline Athletic.

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