Seamus Coleman. Ryan Byrne/INPHO
Cutting The Mustard

'I think he will be in the running' - Captain Coleman backs O'Shea for Irish job

Momentum is gathering behind O’Shea’s candidacy – but the FAI insist he will not be given the job on a full-time basis.

SEAMUS COLEMAN IS the latest Irish player to issue a ringing endorsement to John O’Shea’s candidacy for the Irish job on a full time basis. 

O’Shea’s interim stint in charge against Belgium and Switzerland coincided with increased speculation that he would end up getting the job on a full-time basis, although senior FAI sources continue to insist that he was installed as an interim only, and that Stephen Kenny’s permanent successor will be unveiled next month as planned. 

But as Eileen Gleeson’s appointment has shown, the public and the players are forgiven for thinking that, when it comes to the FAI’s permanent appointments, possession is nine-tenths of the law. 

All of the Irish players asked have issued vigorous support for the prospect of O’Shea holding onto the job, and the captain is the latest to speak up. 

“I don’t want to sound like someone who’s played a couple of games for the manager and I am doing all I can to get him in, but being completely honest, the way he has conducted himself, how impressive has has been…my time will be up soon – so it’s not on a personal level – but I think the way he’s carried himself, the work that he, Paddy [McCarthy], Glenn [Whelan] have done behind the scenes has been really impressive. What he has done for his country, that respect he has from people instantly: I think he will be in the running.

“I have no idea, but why not be in the running for it? And I’d be delighted for him but that’s above my pay grade.”

The search for Stephen Kenny’s successor has officially been underway since last November, but Coleman was diplomatic when asked if he has been frustrated by the long wait. 

“As captain I care about the players and all the rest of that but that’s not my job to figure out who the manager’s going to be, I am a player, I have always been a player.  I have never been one to speak about people above me or anything like that, it’s not my job. Whoever it is will give their all for it. I think there’s a case for John, the way he’s carried himself, what he has done for the country, he has coached for a period of time now, the lads all really enjoyed it.

“Whoever that will be, we will find out soon and as always, we will have massive pride in representing our country and give our all for whoever will be in charge.” 

Coleman played all 180 minutes of both friendly matches, and said he was relieved to have done so, having been left out of the Everton team in recent weeks. 

“I’m delighted the manager has decided to play me in these couple of games”, said Coleman. “I had the injury, which was disappointing, and came back, played, got a little niggle, came back again, done well, but got a little niggle. I’ve been fit for the last eight, 10 weeks I’d say, it’s just a case of not being selected, which is fine, that happens. 

“It was just good to get over here and get some minutes, and feel like I’m ready to go for the next 10 games of the season.” 

With reporting by Emma Duffy 

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