The Football Association of Ireland this evening (November 5) confirmed that Martin O’Neill will be Ireland’s next manager, taking up the position when the Irish team meets up on the evening of November 11 to prepare for two friendly matches against Latvia (Aviva Stadium, Nov 15) and Poland (Poznan, Nov 19).
Martin O’Neill is considered to be one of the most successful Irish managers of all time. As a player he spent most of his career with Nottingham Forest and was captain of the Northern Ireland side at the World Cup in Spain 1982. The Kilrea man’s management career has included many successes including leading Celtic FC to the 2003 UEFA Cup Final. In his five-year tenure at the club, O’Neill led them to three league titles, three Scottish Cup successes and a Scottish League Cup win. He also won the League Cup twice with Leicester City and brought Aston Villa to the 2010 League Cup final, as well as sixth spot in the Premier League three seasons in a row.
Martin O’Neill’s assistant manager, Roy Keane is former captain of the Republic of Ireland and widely regarded as one of the best footballers ever to play for Ireland. He spent most of his club career with Manchester United, making 326 appearances and scoring 51 goals.
Roy Keane’s managerial career began with a very successful spell at Sunderland when he led the Black Cats up from the Championship in his first season in 2007, then kept the club in the Premier League the following season. He stepped down in December 2008 and returned to management with Ipswich Town four months later.
Making this evening’s announcement, FAI President, Paddy McCaul said;
“This is a great appointment for Irish football. Martin was the Board’s preferred candidate from the outset and to have someone of the calibre of Roy Keane as his assistant manager is a real plus. I wish them every success for the coming campaign. I would like to thank the League Managers’ Association and their legal team led by Paul Gilroy QC, as well as the FAI’s Legal Director, Sarah O’Shea for helping the process proceed so swiftly.”
Welcoming the appointment, FAI CEO John Delaney said,
“Today, the FAI Board is appointing two Irish legends as manager and assistant manager of our national team and I wish them every success in their roles. Martin and Roy will have the next ten months to prepare and shape the squad for the challenge of EURO 2016 qualification which starts in September 2014. The appointment would not have been possible were it not for Denis O’Brien’s continued and immensely generous support, and on behalf of the FAI Board, we thank him sincerely for his help in delivering a management team of this quality. I would also like to thank Dermot Desmond for his very influential role in facilitating this appointment.”
Martin O’Neill’s first match in charge will be at Aviva Stadium against Latvia on November 15. Tickets are on already on sale for €10 for children, from €20 for adults and €50 for a family of four. See fai.ie orticketmaster.ie for details.