Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Report: FAI Waiting On Response From One Candidate Before Deciding On Next Ireland Boss | Balls.ie

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While the team and interim boss John O’Shea will be preparing for friendlies against Hungary and Portugal at the start of June, the FAI are likely to continue their search for the next Republic of Ireland manager over the coming weeks.

The hunt for Stephen Kenny’s replacement has been an unmitigated disaster up to this point.

It was originally suggested that an appointment would be made by early February, the point at which Ireland would learn of their opponents in the 2024 UEFA Nations League.

After that date came without a deal being struck and John O’Shea was appointed as interim manager for the games in March, it was said that an announcement had been delayed until early April due to ‘existing contractual obligations’.

Once again, no developments were forthcoming. It has now been said that the FAI hope to have a permanent boss in place for September international window, at which point we will be ten months removed from Kenny’s departure.

According to one report, they are eagerly awaiting one coach’s response to their advances ahead of that date.

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FAI waiting on one candidate before making Ireland manager decision

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The Sun are reporting that the FAI are delaying the announcement on the next Ireland manager until they get an answer from Willy Sagnol about his interest in taking the job.

Sagnol is currently in charge of Georgia, who are primed for a first ever Euros appearance this summer.

His contract expires at the end of that campaign, and considering that he would have been available in April had they not defeated Greece in a play-off last month, there is a possibility that he is the mystery man the FAI have been targeting.

We recently suggested that the Frenchman could well be the preferred candidate for the role. Not only do the timelines match up, but he also meets many of the criteria that Marc Canham has previously put forward for the job.

A successful defender with Bayern Munich and France during his playing days, Sagnol would go on to manage the France U21s and Bordeaux. He would then have a spell as an assistant at Bayern, before taking the Georgia job in 2021.

Since then, he had led the nation to promotion from League ‘C’ of the UEFA Nations League and a first ever Euros berth.

The FAI perhaps feel that his mix of club experience and international success make him an ideal fit for the Ireland job, with the hints being there that he is their main target for the position. It is unclear how much encouragement Sagnol has given them in relation to his interest in the role.

As has become custom during this managerial search, we would not be holding our breath in hopes of hearing a concrete update anytime soon.

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