John O'Shea. Ryan Byrne/INPHO

FAI appoint John O'Shea as Irish head coach on interim basis

O’Shea will be assisted by Paddy McCarthy, with a permanent appointment to be made in April.

JOHN O’SHEA will take charge of the Irish team on an interim basis for the March friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland on 23 and 26 March, the FAI have announced. 

O’Shea will be assisted by Paddy McCarthy of Crystal Palace. 

The FAI say a permanent appointment to the role will be made in early April. At this point, it is not thought that O’Shea is a contender for the role on a permanent basis, though may remain involved on the coaching staff. 

O’Shea won 118 caps as a player for Ireland, and has moved into coaching since retiring. He has worked at Stoke City and at Birmingham, the latter alongside Wayne Rooney. Having initially worked on Jim Crawford’s staff with the Irish U21s, O’Shea then stepped up to join Stephen Kenny’s staff following the exit of John Eustace, and was part of the Euro 2024 qualification campaign. 

McCarthy, a former Irish U21 international, is an assistant coach at Crystal Palace, and recently took charge of their first team in the interregnum between Roy Hodgson’s exit and Oliver Glasner’s arrival. 

“I’m delighted to return to the senior men’s coaching staff as Interim Head Coach for the two international friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland”, said O’Shea. 

“It will be an incredible honour to lead the side into the March international window. As everyone will know, I’ve always had immense pride representing my country, whether that be during my playing career or very recently, as part of the coaching staff for the men’s senior team and the U21s.

“It’s great that Paddy has agreed to come on board for the two matches and work will begin straight away to prepare for two top-quality fixtures against great opposition in Belgium and Switzerland, in front of our fantastic home support.

“I’ve got great belief in this group of players to win football matches and looking forward to some positive results.”

FAI director of football Marc Canham says the appointment of a permanent head coach is ongoing, and they hope to announce in April. 

“We are also pleased to confirm that the process for the appointment of a new Men’s Head Coach is near completion and we are looking forward to announce that appointment in April”, said Canham. “For now, the focus is on the upcoming matches against Belgium and Switzerland at the Aviva Stadium and supporting John and his team as they prepare for the games.”




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