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Ireland appoint Chelsea coach as Damien Duff's successor

Anthony Barry will continue working on Thomas Tuchel’s staff at Stamford Bridge.

Anthony Barry.
Anthony Barry.

CHELSEA FIRST-TEAM coach Anthony Barry has been appointed to Stephen Kenny’s Republic of Ireland coaching staff, as a replacement for Damien Duff. 

Duff walked away at the start of the year, and the FAI have today named Barry as his replacement. Barry will continue working with Chelsea, and will link up with Ireland ahead of next month’s World Cup qualifiers. 

“I’m delighted to join the Republic of Ireland coaching staff ahead of the start of the Fifa 2022 World Cup campaign,” said Barry.

“The opportunity to work in international football is something I’m thoroughly looking forward to and I’m looking forward to working with manager Stephen Kenny, his staff and the squad. I’d also like to thank Chelsea for helping facilitate this opportunity.”

Born in Liverpool, Barry had a lengthy playing career in the English Football League with clubs including Fleetwood, Accrington and Yeovil Town before moving into coaching at Accrington. He then worked with former Sligo Rovers manager Paul Cook at Wigan Athletic, and from there earned a move to Chelsea, where Frank Lampard appointed him as first-team coach, having got to know him on a Uefa Pro Licence coaching course.

The 34-year-old was retained on the staff by Thomas Tuchel following Lampard’s dismissal. Barry was approached as a potential replacement for Joey Barton as Fleetwood Town manager at the start of the year, though turned it down in favour of the opportunity to work with Tuchel.

Barry played with Irish analyst Ruaidhrí Higgins when both were in the youth set up at Coventry City, and Higgins, having tracked Barry’s progress as a coach, recommended him to Stephen Kenny back in their Dundalk days. He has since remained on Kenny’s radar, and was among those identified as a potential replacement for Duff. 

Barry is highly rated at Chelsea, and he took training in the days between Lampard’s dismissal and Tuchel’s arrival. Under Tuchel, his responsibility includes organising Chelsea at set pieces – both defensively and offensively – and he is seen as the primary go-between in relations between Tuchel and the Chelsea players. 

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“I’d like to welcome Anthony to the Republic of Ireland team, he is an innovative coach with an energetic style and is someone I have been aware of for a few years now,” said Stephen Kenny.

“The skillset Anthony brings will complement the existing coaching team and I look forward to him joining up in March ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.”

Originally published at 16.45

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Gavin Cooney

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