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Italian legend Vialli and ex-Premier League boss Redknapp to manage GAA clubs

The pair are to feature in a mini-series that will renew the 1998 All-Ireland club rivalry between Erin’s Isle and Castlehaven.

Vialli with the Erin's Isle jersey.
Vialli with the Erin's Isle jersey.
Image: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

THE LATEST EDITION of AIB’s ‘The Toughest’ series will see two household names of the football world introduced to the GAA.

Last year, Sky Sports presenters Jeff Stelling and Chris Kamara were brought to the four corners of country to learn about Gaelic football before eventually commentating on the All-Ireland senior final between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park.

This time around, ex-Italy striker Gianluca Vialli and former Premier League boss Harry Redknapp have been recruited.

Vialli, who won Serie A and the Champions League with Juventus before arriving in the Premier League to play and, later, manage Chelsea, will take charge of Erin’s Isle of Finglas in Dublin.

Redknapp, a former Tottenham, West Ham and Portsmouth boss, has agreed to manage West Cork side Castlehaven, meanwhile.

The Toughest Rivalry will pit the two clubs against each other in a rematch of the infamous 1998 All-Ireland club semi-final.

After Dublin star Charlie Redmond had been shown a harsh red card with 13 minutes remaining, Castlehaven led by two points heading into the final seconds.

However, Erin’s Isle forward Niall Crossan then struck a shot that hit both posts and came back out, and a goal was controversially awarded — handing the Dubliners a one-point victory over the Munster champions.

Arry Haven 1 Redknapp at Castlehaven's ground. Source: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

“I am very excited to embark on this journey with AIB,” said Vialli. “I have learned a lot during my 30 years involved in professional football as a player and manager, but I am delighted to get the opportunity to come to Ireland and learn more about GAA. I am interested in seeing what it is that makes this sport so special.”

I am thrilled to dive into the world of GAA,” added Redknapp. “I took a trip out to London GAA training last week before arriving in Castlehaven to see what it is all about.

“Having been involved in professional football for my whole life, I am really looking forward to working with AIB to get a real understanding of this sport and the central role it plays in Irish life not to mention getting one over on Vialli in the re-match.”

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