Noel King has left his role as the manager of the Republic of Ireland under-21s. King had been in the role for eight years, in which time he failed to guide the squad to what would have been Ireland's first-ever major tournament at that level. He did, however, cap more than 25 players who went on to play for Ireland at senior level including Shane Duffy, Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick. He also took temporary charge of the senior team following the dismissal of Giovanni Trapattoni.
The FAI confirmed the news in a statement this afternoon, saying that King had retired from the role and will now fulfill the role of Player Identification Manager on a full-time basis. King had recently been combining that role with his under-21 commitments.
In the statement, King thanked "FAI CEO John Delaney and the FAI Board for placing their trust in me at the beginning and for their support over the eight years. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the role and was honoured to hold such a distinguished position".
Delaney thanked King for his work with the under-21s, while High-Performance Director Ruud Dokter also paid tribute to King's work.
Under-21 football is one of the most challenging tiers in international football and Noel has done a very good job to keep Ireland competitive in that environment, continually improving players and the team's overall ranking.
Noel has also helped to develop a lot of players, which continues the good work being done along the elite player pathway. I thank Noel for his work with the Under-21s and look forward to continually supporting him in the Player Identification role.
Ireland's most recent European Championship qualification campaign ended in disappointment, with King's side finishing in third place, 11 points behind group winners Germany.
The FAI confirmed that the process to appoint a replacement will begin in "due course". Lee Carsley's name has been touted by some in the media, while there have been reports that Robbie Keane may be involved in some capacity, be it as manager or otherwise.