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Boost for Northern Ireland as Michael O'Neill commits, undertakes new role

The former Shamrock Rovers boss helped guide the team to the second round of Euro 2016.

Michael O'Neill has signed a new contract with Northern Ireland.
Michael O'Neill has signed a new contract with Northern Ireland.

Updated at 13.04

MICHAEL O’NEILL HAS signed a new contract to remain as Northern Ireland boss until at least 2024, it has been confirmed.

The former Shamrock Rovers boss helped guide the team to the second round of Euro 2016, while they narrowly missed out on a World Cup qualification place, losing a play-off against Switzerland in controversial circumstances.

O’Neill had been heavily linked with the vacant Scotland post, but ultimately chose not to accept a job offer from the SFA.

A statement issued by the Irish FA today added: “As part of his new contract with the Irish FA, Michael will also take up the role of Chief Football Officer and will have overall responsibility for the development of the game in Northern Ireland and the Irish FA’s elite performance pathway.”

In reaction to the news, O’Neill said: “I am extremely proud to manage my country and I am pleased to be extending my time in charge of the senior team. In recent months I have been approached about taking other opportunities in football. However, no other challenge attracted me as much as taking Northern Ireland back to a major tournament.

“While that will be my main aim, I am also excited about my new role as Chief Football Officer and of having hands-on involvement in shaping our football development programmes and elite performance pathways.

“I would like to thank the Irish FA for the belief that they have shown in me by granting this contract extension and for the fans for their ongoing support of me and of the Northern Ireland senior men’s international team.”

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