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Martin O'Neill Releases Statement After Irish Departure

Martin O'Neill Releases Statement After Irish Departure
Gavin Cooney
By Gavin Cooney
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Martin O'Neill has released a statement thanking his coaching staff, players, the FAI and the Irish fans following his departure from the Republic of Ireland earlier today. Having first taken charge in 2013, O'Neill and assistant Roy Keane left today following a London meeting with FAI CEO John Delaney last night. It comes off a miserable run of form in 2018, in which Ireland won a single game - a friendly against the United States - and scored just four times in nine matches.

Here is the statement in full.

Martin O'Neill Statement

I have had the great honour of managing the Republic of Ireland National football team for the past five years and it is with a heavy heart that I leave this role. It was one of my lifetime ambitions to take charge of the Irish Senior squad and I would like to thank the FAI Board for giving me that opportunity.

I will not forget the night in Lille when we beat Italy to secure the nation's best-ever achievement in the Euros competition, the terrific night we beat World Champions Germany at home in Dublin, or James McClean's goal in that euphoric win against Wales in Cardiff that put us through to the play-offs for this year's World Cup.

The Irish fans have been a source of motivation to myself, the team and the whole backroom staff, embodying the passionate Irish spirit and I thank them for their fervent support of the team.

I am also very proud of the relationships I have built with the players, who have carried the same spirit, imbued by the fans, onto the field.

A special thanks to Roy Keane, my assistant, an inspirational figure in the world of football, Seamus McDonagh Steve Guppy and Steve Walford for their brilliant contributions and to those backroom staff at the FAI that were of enormous help to me.

Knowing that the past year would be a transitional phase for the squad, I have capped twelve new players in the last nine games, with the aim that they become significant international contributors in the coming campaign.

To the players, I reserve great praise and admiration for the phenomenal commitment they have shown whilst wearing the Irish shirt.

Having had these great experiences in my spell as the Irish international manager, I am looking forward to my next adventure in football.



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