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Cudicini: won FA Cups with Chelsea in 2000 and 2007.
Cudicini: won FA Cups with Chelsea in 2000 and 2007.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

A Premier League cult hero is now Ireland's U21 goalkeeping coach

Carlo Cudicini is working with Ireland ahead of their opening European Championship qualifier.
Mar 24th 2015, 4:52 PM 12,060 9

FORMER CHELSEA GOALKEEPER Carlo Cudicini has joined the Ireland U21 backroom.

The Italian will take over as goalkeeping coach for Thursday’s European Championship qualifier against Andorra.

Cudicini moved to the Premier League in 1999 and spent 13 seasons in London with spells at Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur before finishing his playing career with the LA Galaxy at the age of 40.

Now an academy coach at Queen’s Park Rangers, he recently took his UEFA B coaching licence with the FAI, and U21 boss Noel King has drafted him in to the vacancy left by Alan O’Neill’s retirement.

“Carlo Cudicini is coming in to the do the goalkeepers initially, “King said. “We’ll see how it goes and work together to try and win the game obviously.

His experience will be a great help to us. It won’t be just goalkeeping – we’ll include him as we do with all our staff in the preparation. We’ll value his views and hopefully that’ll add strength to us.

King also paid tribute to O’Neill, the former Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers keeper who has retired from the post due to work commitments.

“We’re thankful to Alan O’Neill who has been with us and the Association for a great number of years and has been a great servant.”

Ireland open their Poland 2017 qualification campaign on Thursday evening at Waterford RSC (7.45pm).

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