Thursday 14 December 2017

The Candidates


There are a plethora of former Irish internationals who would relish an opportunity to get back into the scene at U-21 level. Jason McAteer has expressed an interest while there are others, like Kenny Cunningham, who have gone for their coaching badges and will note the English FA's decision to opt for a loyal servant such as Stuart Pearce -- although the latter did have top-flight managerial experience.

Out-of-work coaches

In the 117-day hunt to find Steve Staunton's replacement, a wide variety of characters were trumpeted as viable propositions. They were largely drawn from managers out of work across the water, with the likes of Paul Jewell thrown into the mix. However, it's doubtful that the FAI would have the money to make any recognised figures interested in what is really a low-profile berth. Even those with a track record in this area, like Paul Hart and Peter Taylor, are currently in employment.

Old boys network

Remember, in the farcical manager hunt that preceded the Trapattoni appointment, Johnny Giles briefly moved into favouritism for a time. That was completely far-fetched, but would the FAI be tempted to hand the reins to an ex-international from a bit further back in the memory, such as Frank Stapleton or Mick Martin, who are on the payroll in a scouting capacity? It's highly unlikely that Wim Koevermans would go down that route.

Homegrown stars

Brian Kerr progressed to the senior job from the League of Ireland via a successful stint with the under-age sides. Could this be the time to place faith in Pat Fenlon or Stephen Kenny or another coach who has learned his trade in the domestic game? It's hard to see anyone from this neck of the woods being offered the gig but, certainly, they should be represented in the coaching and backroom team with a view to the future -- possibly on a rotation basis.

The foreign option

If Koevermans really has the final say, then it wouldn't be a shock if a person with a similarly left-field profile arrived. While the size of the pay packet will restrict how high the bar can be raised, it would be an interesting departure for the FAI to go down this road for a campaign or two. The senior players responded to Trapattoni's fresh approach -- a cheaper model with a background in working with youngsters could provide a welcome injection of life in this sphere.

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