Anthony Barry has left his role as Ireland coach to take up position with Belgium 1 year ago

Anthony Barry has left his role as Ireland coach to take up position with Belgium

Barry has taken up a coaching role with Belgium.

Anthony Barry has left his role as Republic of Ireland coach to take up a position with the Belgium team.

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Barry joined Stephen Kenny's coaching team last February as a replacement for Damien Duff and was a valued part of the set-up.

The 35-year-old, however, has left for a role with the number one ranked side in the world.

Anthony Barry leaves Ireland for role with Belgium team.

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Barry, who is also a first-team coach at Chelsea, said he couldn't reject the chance to coach at the World Cup with Belgium.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with the team and really enjoyed working with Stephen and the entire backroom staff and players," he said in a statement released by the FAI on Friday morning.

"I've been fortunate to work with some outstanding managers in my career and Stephen certainly falls into that bracket. "The opportunity to move on to Belgium and to have the chance to take part in the World Cup Finals was one I felt I couldn't turn down. Of course, I wish all of the team the very best of luck for the future."

Ireland manager Kenny also thanked him for his work with the national team. "I'd like to thank Anthony for the positive contribution he has made over the past year with the players and staff alike," he said. "Anthony had a great rapport with the staff and players, he was thought-provoking, an exceptional coach and a joy to work with. We respect his decision and he leaves with our best wishes."

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Anthony Barry's time with Ireland.

Barry's arrival coincided with an upturn in form for Ireland. In the eight games before he joined the setup, Ireland failed to win a match, losing four times and drawing four times.

In the 12 games since, Kenny's side have won four matches and drawn five times. The Boys in Green have only lost one of their last 10 matches - away to Portugal in September thanks to two late Cristiano Ronaldo goals.

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Barry's work on set-pieces, in particular, is said to have helped the team turn a corner and improve results. The FAI have yet to announce if Kenny will appoint a new coach to replace Barry.

Ireland play Belgium in their next match, a friendly in March at the Aviva Stadium.