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Mick keeping his Irish options open


THE FAI would not have to pay any compensation should they wish to secure the services of Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy it has emerged.

The former Ireland manager took over at Portman Road earlier this month and signed a two-and-a-half-year deal. But the 53-year-old had a clause inserted in his contract to allow him leave if his old job became available at the end of this season. He is reported to be earning in the region of £1m per year.

McCarthy was hotly tipped as a potential successor when speculation mounted over Giovanni Trapattoni's future last month.

The Italian's contract expires after the World Cup and he has come under pressure following the poor displays at the European Championships and last month's 6-1 defeat to Germany at Lansdowne Road.

The outlook on qualifying for Brazil will become much clearer after the double-header against Sweden and Austria next March. Should those not go to plan, the association may look to future campaigns and McCarthy's clause could come in very handy.

Croly swoops on the double for Rovers

Shamrock Rovers manager Trevor Croly has made his first move towards rebuilding ahead of the 2013 season by completing the double signing of St Pat's midfielder James Chambers and Sligo defender Jason McGuinness.

Both players are returning to the club for a second time.

McGuinness was an integral part of Sligo's title success this year, while Chambers had a fine year in a holding role for the Saints, where Croly served as assistant boss before taking over the Hoops.

Quigley named Player of the Year

MARK QUIGLEY has been crowned PFAI Player of the Year after his title-winning exploits with Sligo Rovers.

Pat's youngster Chris Forrester was named Young Player of the Year, while Limerick's Rory Gaffney collected the First Division gong. Neil Doyle was voted best referee, with James McClean honoured as best overseas player.

Irish Independent