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Speculation regarding Stephen Kenny's future is finally at an end, with the Republic of Ireland manager signing a new contract with the FAI. 

Kenny will remain in charge of the Ireland side through to the end of the Euro 2024 campaign.

“I consider it the ultimate honour to manage my country and I am delighted to extend my contract," he said.

"The players are incredibly proud to play for Ireland and in recent performances we have witnessed a powerful connection between the team and the Irish supporters.

"The attitude of the players has been exceptional, we have seen the team grow and develop and I, together with Keith Andrews and all of the staff, look forward to seeing the team fulfil its potential."

The former Dundalk boss endured a nightmare start to life in the Ireland job, having to wait until his twelfth game in charge to collect a first win - and that in a friendly with Andorra.

The pandemic wrought havoc with Kenny's plans both on and off the field - with countless players missing matches after testing positive for COVID-19, and fans locked out of the Aviva.

He also saw assistant Damien Duff depart his coaching staff in the wake of 'videogate', while Duff's replacement Anthony Barry has been lured away by Belgium.

Despite all of this, 2021 ended on a series of positive notes for Kenny - and Ireland. They're now six games without defeat, have won three of their last four, and have kept clean sheets in each of their last four outings.

"With the recent return of supporters to stadiums, I want to acknowledge the importance of the passionate Irish fans both home and away," Kenny said.

"Finally, I want to express my appreciation to Jonathan [Hill, FAI CEO] and the Board of the FAI for sharing our belief in the International Squad.”

Kenny's extension was subject to an FAI Board review following the unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign, and his staying wasn't 100 per cent certain.

But Hill said on Wednesday, "The Board gave me clear instructions to agree a deal that sees Stephen in charge for the upcoming UEFA Nations League and Euro 2024 campaigns at a time when there is so much excitement about the future of this young and emerging Ireland squad.

"Stephen and I have agreed on that deal now and we look forward to working together as he seeks to guide Ireland to the next European Championship finals.”

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