John O'Shea. Ryan Byrne/INPHO

FAI confirm John O'Shea to continue as interim head coach for June friendlies

O’Shea will remain in charge for the games against Hungary and Portugal.

THE FAI HAVE confirmed John O’Shea will continue as interim head coach for Ireland’s June friendlies against Hungary and Portugal.

The Ireland men’s team have been without a permanent head coach since Stephen Kenny left the role last November.

The FAI had originally hoped to have a permanent replacement appointed for the Nations League draw in early February. When that failed, O’Shea was installed as interim head coach for the March friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland, with director of football Marc Canham then outlining the FAI would be making an announcement regarding a new manager in early April.

That deadline came and went before Canham offered another update through an in-house interview with the FAI last week, during which he stated the FAI “hoped” to continue with O’Shea as interim head coach for the June games.

That has now been confirmed by the association this morning.

O’Shea has also confirmed the continuation of his coaching and performance team, Paddy McCarthy, Glenn Whelan, and Rene Gilmartin as well as analyst Stephen Rice and Athletic Performance coach Damien Doyle.

Technical Advisor Brian Kerr will not join up with the team for the June friendlies due to prior commitments.

“I’m looking forward to continuing as interim head coach for two great games in June against Hungary and Portugal,” said O’Shea.

“Both matches represent great challenges but I was really happy with what I saw from the players in both matches in March and we’ll be looking to build on some of those positives in June, but also, get that win which I thought the group deserved. 

“I have been in contact with Marc Canham since the March fixtures and last week, he asked me about stepping in again and as I said before, it is always an honour to represent your country so delighted to continue as interim head coach for June and the work will begin straight away.

“Also, great to confirm the coaching and performance team will remain for the June fixtures which is great for continuity with the players and staff.

“We will be missing Brian for the two matches in June unfortunately due to commitments elsewhere. He was a fantastic influence in the March window, we will miss his input and expertise for the two matches, and I’d like to thank him for his efforts.:

“We’re delighted to extend John and his coaching and performance team for the June fixtures,” added Canham. 

“As confirmed last week, the process to appoint a new Head Coach for our senior men’s team will be concluded ahead of start of the Uefa Nations League. I’ve kept in contact with John since the March fixtures and we’re really thankful to John for extending his spell as interim head coach as well as his coaching and performance staff Paddy McCarthy, Glenn Whelan, Rene Gilmartin, Damien Doyle and Stephen Rice.

“Unfortunately, Brian isn’t in a position to be able to join up with the group for the two matches and I’d like to thank him for his input over the last few months and all of his efforts leading up and during the March international window.

“We’re very pleased with what John and the team were able to achieve in the March friendlies and the June fixtures represents another exciting challenge for the team.”

“It wasn’t possible for me to rejoin the coaching team this time around on account of commitments – personal and professional – that I’d made some time ago,” said Kerr. 

“I thoroughly enjoyed working with John and the very professional coaching group last month and I wish them well with these next matches in June. Irish football, it’s welfare, remains a great passion for me.”

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