Damien Duff among 5 former internationals to join FAI coaching set-up

The FAI hope the quintet can lend their vast experience to the next generation of footballers.

Duff recently completed his coaching badges.
Duff recently completed his coaching badges.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION of Ireland has this evening confirmed the appointment of five former internationals to its youth coaching set-up.

Damien Duff, Kenny Cunningham, Mark Kinsella, Keith Andrews and Stephen McPhail will work closely with the country’s underage teams for the next 12 months.

Duff joins up with Colin O’Brien’s U15 team, McPhail will be with Paul Osam’s U16s, Andrews links up with the U17s, Cunningham with the U19s and Kinsella will be part of Noel King’s U21s.

All five have recently completed the FAI Coach Education Programme and performance director Ruud Dokter has hailed their involvement as a ‘very positive’ development for Irish football.

“We’re delighted they will work with us. They bring great experience and to the game and to underage football, and in-turn, they will gain from the FAI as they continue to develop their own coaching careers,” Dokter said.

“We have previously had arrangements like this with Mark Kinsella helping our Under 16 boys and Kenny Cunningham working with the Under 15 boys’ side, so this commitment is something that we have been considering for some time.

“This is a very positive thing for Irish football and also Irish coaching because it allows current members of staff to learn from these experienced former players and vice versa. We look forward to having them contribute to our Player Development Pathway.”

The quintet have a total of 256 senior international caps between them having represented the Boys in Green at the highest level.

Mark Kinsella Mark Kinsella was recently manager of Drogheda. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Duff called time on his career last December and quickly turned his attention to coaching by completing the Uefa Coaching Diploma alongside Robbie Keane at Carlow IT.

Kinsella, meanwhile, has already gained vast experience in management with spells on the touchline with Walsall, Colchester United and Drogheda United.

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Andrews was recently first-team coach at MK Dons and McPhail is still on the books at Shamrock Rovers.

FAI chief executive, John Delaney, added: ”The FAI has always sought to progress talent, whether that is our own coaching staff, or in this case to involve former players, who have played at the very top level.

“I’m delighted to have these big names onboard, and I look forward to watching them develop their own coaching talents as well as observing the development of the players who they will work with.”

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