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Mick McCarthy Has No Problem With FAI's Stephen Kenny Plan

Mick McCarthy Has No Problem With FAI's Stephen Kenny Plan
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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In addition to the announcement on Sunday of Mick McCarthy as Martin O'Neill's successor as Ireland manager, McCarthy's successor was also confirmed.

Stephen Kenny, who won four League of Ireland titles with Dundalk in the past six seasons, will take over from McCarthy after Euro 2020.

It makes McCarthy's remit simple: qualify for the next tournament.

In the interim, Kenny will take the U21 reigns from Noel King. He will also be responsible for all underage men's teams.

Even if he is successful over the next two years, McCarthy said there is no prospect of him extending the deal.

It was explained when I took it by John [Delaney] and Ruud [Dokter, FAI High Performance Director]. It's two years to qualify for the European Championships.

If you do really well and get to the final and win it, and you want me to stay, there might be a push for me to stay, there might be a job in the Premier League as well and they'll want me there.

If we don't do well and we don't qualify, you won't want me anyway. So it kind of fits for me. It works.

That's two years down the line. Do you know how long the average tenure of a Championship manager is? 11 months. I've been given 24.

What about Stephen Kenny? I'm so surprised - no disrespect to Dundalk - that he hasn’t gone somewhere else already. What if he comes in and rips it up with the U21s and some club from England comes and says, 'We fancy you, Stephen, come manage us'?

We don't know what will happen but you're right it might be that feeling [of wanting to stay] if we qualify and do well in the Euros but I've accepted it and that's the way it's going to be.

If we do [well] there might be something else for me. I might go and get a big job in China and retire on 10 million a year.

McCarthy doesn't know Kenny particularly well. Though, that was set to change somewhat on Sunday evening with the current and future Ireland managers set to meet for dinner. Kenny was buying, according to McCarthy.


Long-term McCarthy confidant, Terry 'TC' Connor, along with Robbie Keane will work as the 59-year-old's assistants. He will also seek advice from Kenny on younger Irish players. McCarthy admitted that his knowledge of up and coming Irish talent is weak.


FAI CEO, John Delaney, said that the appointment of Kenny as U21 boss is one the Association has wished to see for "quite a while" - discussions have been held previously.

"He's been an outstanding manager with Dundalk," said Delaney.


"The most successful manager in the League of Ireland over the last number of years. So the 21s job would've been something we wanted Stephen to do.

"In discussions, Stephen made it clear that he wants to manage the A (senior) job and he'll get that in 2020. He's happy to do so and he'll make that very clear tomorrow [at a press conference]."

As he looks ahead to the next two years, McCarthy views it with that trademark realism.


"If I do it and do it well, I can hand it over to Stephen, that’d be wonderful. If I don’t, and we don’t do well then… you know, people might not be glad to see the back of me, in terms of how I work and the atmosphere I create.

"But ultimately, it’s results that count. If we don’t qualify, I guess I’ll be off and Stephen might be taking it early."

Picture credit: Sportsfile


See Also: 'Cheeky Bollocks' Robbie Keane Suggested Himself As McCarthy Assistant


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