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10th Apr 2024

Richie Sadlier hits the nail on the head about Ireland’s manager search

Richie Sadlier has criticised the Football Association of Ireland over their protracted search for a new Republic of Ireland manager.


Richie Sadlier

“I don’t know what more there is to say.”

Richie Sadlier has criticised the Football Association of Ireland over their protracted search for a new manager of the men’s Republic of Ireland team.

The FAI have been searching for a replacement for Stephen Kenny since November. The former Ireland boss failed to oversee qualification for Euro 2024, and the FAI didn’t renew his contract.

Since then, several coaches and managers have been linked with the vacant position. The FAI, however, appear no closer to appointing a new manager than they were at the start of the process.

Sadlier questions the FAI’s search for a new manager.

Bayern Munich and Portugal assistant coach Anthony Barry, who was on Kenny’s coaching staff, is the latest to be linked with the role.

Sadlier, however, has questioned the FAI’s approach, and recent comments by Marc Canham, the association’s director of football.

Canham hinted that the appointment would be made in April and had been delayed due to ‘existing contractual obligations.’

Yet, the men’s team are still without a head coach. John O’Shea acted as interim manager for last month’s friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland.

“We were told last month that an appointment was going to be made this month, probably early in the month,” Sadlier said on RTÈ on Tuesday evening.

“From Marc Canham’s words, we could infer from it that he had his man, he had the target, end stages of negotiations. The phrase he used was ‘contractual obligations’ prevent us from announcing it.

“I read through that and thought it’s kind of a done deal and they have to wait until today, or this week, or next week to announce it.

“The media reports lately don’t tally with that at all. If they’re still approaching fresh candidates, it means what I took from Marc Canham’s words last month was completely incorrect. They’re not at the end stage, they’re still looking.

“It’s probably worth shifting our focus from the potential candidates to looking at who are the people in charge of this process.

“It’s the 9th of April. Stephen Kenny’s job, the decision was made as soon as the Greece result and that was the summer.

“It’s April now, and they’ve already wasted one international window by putting one man [John O’Shea] in charge, who they say didn’t have the credentials to have the job, just keep it on an interim level.

“I don’t know what more there is to say, because we’re light on details, we don’t know whether what’s in the media is accurate.

“Maybe the FAI will come out next week and have a impressive candidate revealed as the manager.

“That’s our hope, but there is absolutely nothing so far to suggest that that’s going to be what we should expect.”


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