Mick McCarthy: led Ireland to the 2002 World Cup. Joe Giddens
Second Coming

Mick McCarthy confirmed as new Ireland manager with Stephen Kenny set to succeed him

The former Ipswich and Sunderland boss has agreed a two-year deal with Association chiefs.

Updated at 14.55

MICK MCCARTHY IS Ireland boss again. 

The FAI have confirmed the former Boys in Green skipper and manager has been handed a two-year contract, worth a reported €1.2million per year.

The 59-year-old, who will be tasked with guiding Ireland to Euro 2020, has been handed the opportunity ahead of Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny, though the latter is set to take the reins as U21 boss and will become senior manager in two years’ time.

Terry Connor — who was previously McCarthy’s assistant at Wolves and Ipswich — will be his number two, while legendary former Irish striker Robbie Keane will form part of the coaching set-up.

“I’m honoured and excited to be back with the Republic of Ireland. I am delighted that the FAI Board and CEO have given me this opportunity to lead the team to EURO 2020,” said McCarthy.

“I have been involved in club football for the last 15 years, so this will be a new challenge but one that I know well. I’m delighted to have Terry Connor, a trusted colleague and excellent coach, and Robbie Keane, one of the finest players who I had the pleasure of managing, helping me as assistant coaches.

I am looking forward to getting started and embracing this challenge to qualify for EURO 2020, where it would be fantastic to play in front of the Ireland supporters in Aviva Stadium.”

“This is a very exciting time for Irish football as we are able to welcome back a proven manager at international level in Mick McCarthy and also look to the future with Stephen Kenny,” FAI CEO John Delaney added.

“Mick was a great player for Ireland and then had a terrific impact as manager by guiding the team to the Round of 16 in the 2002 World Cup following a memorable draw with eventual finalists Germany. There is no doubt that he knows international football and has the appetite to lead the team forward again.

Qualifying for Euro 2020 is hugely important considering we are hosting four games at the Aviva Stadium and Mick will set about achieving that as soon as we discover our opponents in next Sunday’s draw at Dublin’s Convention Centre.”

Meanwhile, outgoing Dundalk boss Kenny is set to be unveiled at a press conference on Monday.

McCarthy has long been a popular figure in Ireland. Born in Barnsley, he qualified to represent the Boys in Green through his Waterford-born father and appeared for them 57 times.

He was part of the Irish team when they made their first appearance at a major tournament in Euro ’88, while he captained the side the first time they reached the World Cup in 1990.

The former Barnsley, Man City, Celtic and Lyon star joined Millwall as player-manager in 1992, before succeeding Jack Charlton as Irish boss in 1996.

The job he did in his first spell with the Boys in Green was widely regarded as successful, leading them to the World Cup second round in 2002 and spending six years at the helm in total.

The manager’s first term ended on a sour note, however. Having fallen out with captain Roy Keane prior to the World Cup and ostracised him from the squad, pressure grew on McCarthy and he stepped down amid a poor start to Ireland’s Euro 2004 qualifying campaign after losing 4-2 away to Russia and 2-1 at home to Switzerland.

Yet McCarthy has since recovered well from that setback, helping both Sunderland and Wolves gain promotion to the Premier League, as well as getting to the Championship play-offs with an Ipswich side who have promptly become relegation candidates in his absence.

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