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17th Jun 2023

Former Ireland player reportedly being lined up to succeed Stephen Kenny

Rory Fleming

Stephen Kenny successor

It appears Stephen Kenny’s days as Ireland manager are numbered.

With the FAI set to meet this weekend to deliberate over the future of Stephen Kenny, a successor is reportedly already being lined up to oversee the rest of Ireland’s Euro 2024 qualification campaign.

Despite Chris Houghton being the current bookies favourite at 6/1, it is another former Ireland player who has emerged as the front-runner to take over from Kenny should he be deemed surplus to requirements.

According to, the candidate in question is current England U21 head coach Lee Carsley.

The 49-year-old is no stranger to Irish football fans, having earned 40 international caps over 11 seasons for the Boys in Green.

Making just shy of 500 English football league appearances too, playing for the likes of Derby County, Blackburn Rovers, Everton, Coventry City and Birmingham City, Carsley possesses a wealth of top level footballing experience.

Stephen Kenny successorCarsley is highly thought of by the FA, and reportedly also on the list of potential successors for Gareth Southgate. (Credit: Getty Images)

Since hanging up his boots in 2011, the former defensive midfielder has undertaken various coaching roles, ranging from being a youth team coach at Manchester City to becoming Birmingham City’s caretaker manager in 2017.

However, it is likely his time as England U20 and U21 boss which has caught the eye of the powers that be within the FAI.

Having overseen the developments of numerous young players into fully fledged England internationals, including the likes of Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher and Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe, Carsley is seen as an ideal fit to take over this youthful Irish squad.

Whether or not Carsley would be open to accepting any potential proposition from the FAI remains to be seen though, with the 49-year-old entrenched within the English FA’s coaching pathway.

This is a pathway which has previously seen Gareth Southgate graduate from U21 coach to senior manager and one which despite Carsley’s Irish links, could be hard to walk away from.

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