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Dunphy proposes Dundalk boss Kenny for the Ireland job and Kerr's return

The RTÉ pundit would like to see Martin O’Neill replaced with the Lilywhites manager.

Kenny and Kerr.
Kenny and Kerr.

DUNDALK’S STEPHEN KENNY deserves a shot as Ireland manager, according to Eamon Dunphy.

The Dubliner has enjoyed enormous success in the League of Ireland over the past 15 years — leading the Lilywhites to three league titles in-a-row and progression to the Europa League group stages last year.

Under Martin O’Neill, the Boys in Green just missed out on a place at their first World Cup finals since 2002 after a heavy defeat to Denmark at the Aviva Stadium last week.

Writing in his column with the Irish Daily Star today, Dunphy said would like to see the FAI appoint Kenny and bring back former boss Brian Kerr to oversee Ireland’s underage development.

“I don’t think looking outside the country is necessary,” Dunphy told 2FM’s Game On tonight. “I think Stephen Kenny has proved himself over and over — not just at Dundalk.

“He’s a really top coach and he was within one bad decision of getting to the league stages of the Champions League.

“Then he loses his players but he goes out and gets more I think he’s a really top coach. He’s a low-profile guy, his work hasn’t been appreciated.

“Brian Kerr nurtured the generation that produced Robbie Keane, Damien Duff, Richard Dunne and others, and did really well in international competitions. Brian knows the grassroots of the game here, he knows the game as well and I think the (Giovanni) Trapattoni experience was searing. Although we qualified for Poland, we got humiliated.

The Martin O’Neill experience, for me, and I don’t want to denigrate him but what he believes, I’m sure, is that our players aren’t any good and he’s got to play this up and under stuff.

“While you can make a case for him keeping the job, you can make a case for turning over a new leaf, taking back control of who the manager of the Irish team is and the coach and giving Stephen Kenny and Brian Kerr remit for the next five years.

“Then (it’s about) harmonising what’s happening at schoolboy and youth level, where there is a major problem — dealing with that problem and doing it ourselves.”

Listen to the full Game On interview here 

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Ben Blake

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