"It's in writing, yeah...

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"It's in writing, yeah" - Stephen Kenny talks new Ireland role, Mick McCarthy and Dundalk exit


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New Ireland Under-21 manager Stephen Kenny says he is happy with the structures of the deal that will see him become senior manager from August 2020.

The 47-year-old leaves his role at Dundalk where he has enjoyed immense success, winning four League of Ireland titles, two FAI Cups and guiding the Lilywhites into the Europa League group stages where they picked up a first win for an Irish club at that level of competition.

Kenny spoke the first time since taking the position at a press conference on Monday and when asked if he would have turned the Under-21 role if a step up to the senior role after 2020 hadn't been part of the deal, the Dubliner replied: "This is the position I'm offered so I'm very happy with what I've been offered and that's the way I feel about it." 

He also confirmed that it is in writing that he will succeed new Mick McCarthy in 2020.

"In August 2020, I'm taking over. That's been decided," he said, "It's in writing, yeah."

Kenny also spoke about his overall relationship with the FAI. 

"My relationship with the FAI has always been good, I feel. It's never been fraught. It's always been good," he responded. 

New Republic of Ireland Under 21 manager Stephen Kenny ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

His relationship with Mick McCarthy will also be key between now and the end of the Euro 2020 campaign.

"I've probably not met Mick in 15 years. I think 15 years ago I met him. So it all went very well. He's got great experience having captained Ireland for such a long period and from a very successful period as manager of Ireland, so I think I can only learn from him over the interim period," he said, adding that "the senior team is not my brief" until 2020 and that he will be working more closely with the head coaches of the underage teams below the Under-21s.

He also said that if McCarthy gets Ireland to Euro 2020 and performs well there, he would be "delighted" as he would then take over a team playing with confidence.

"His stock would be really high and it would be great for him and great for the country. That's only good news," he said of McCarthy.

Kenny also addressed his exit from Dundalk which paved the way for him to take on the Ireland U21 job with a view to managing the seniors from 2020.

New Republic of Ireland Under 21 manager Stephen Kenny with FAI High Performance Director Ruud Dokter ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

"It was a real wrench to leave Dundalk Football Club because we had unprecedented success there and the players and the staff were amazing to work with and really a special group of players and a tremendous bond with everyone at the football club and the whole town there really," he said.

"Of course, I was reluctant to leave that to go anywhere and particularly with the seedings this year in the Champions League - we were never seeded - and with the co-efficient being 7th and to be seeded in the first round in the Champions League and possibly the third round of the Europa League, depending on how it goes; so to leave that, it would have to be something special and this is something special!"


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