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Dublin: 1°C Sunday 7 March 2021

Noel King moves into new FAI role after eight years as Ireland U21 manager

King will now work as Player Identification Manager, having served as U21 boss since July 2010.

Noel King pictured before the Republic of Ireland U21 side's recent game against Germany in Tallaght.
Noel King pictured before the Republic of Ireland U21 side's recent game against Germany in Tallaght.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

THE REPUBLIC OF Ireland U21 team will soon be under the stewardship of a new manager after it was confirmed that Noel King’s tenure has come to an end.

Explaining that King has retired from the job, the FAI said in a press release that the 62-year-old Dubliner will now switch to a full-time role within the association as Player Identification Manager.

After spending a decade in charge of the senior women’s team, King was appointed manager of the U21 men’s side in July 2010.

“I would like to thank FAI CEO John Delaney and the FAI Board for placing their trust in me at the beginning and for their support over the eight years. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the role and was honoured to hold such a distinguished position,” King said.

“I enjoyed some fantastic experiences and I am proud to have helped move the team on during my period with the U21s. I am hugely thankful to all of the players and backroom staff — ranging from coaches, doctors, physios, kit technicians, operation executives, analysts, to media officers — who I was fortunate to work with.

“I take with me some great memories from over the years and moving forward I am excited to continue working with the FAI in the capacity of identifying players to represent Ireland.”

During his reign, King oversaw four full European Championship qualifying campaigns but Ireland were unable to book a place in the tournament for the first time.

The team’s bid to reach next year’s finals in Italy and San Marino recently ended in a third-placed finish in Group 5, behind Germany and Norway. Ireland closed out the campaign in disappointing fashion, taking just one point from a possible 12. A draw away to Kosovo was followed by defeats to the Germans (0-6 and 2-0) and Israel (1-3).

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Republic of Ireland team The Republic of Ireland U21 team pictured before a friendly against Iceland in March. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“I would like to thank Noel for the time and effort that he put into the U21s, where he has brought through a number of players for our senior Ireland team,” said FAI CEO John Delaney.

“Through the years Noel has held several roles, including a spell as interim manager of the senior team, and I’m sure that he will be successful continuing his work with the Player Identification programme, which runs within our High Performance unit.” 

FAI High Performance Director Ruud Dokter added: “U21 football is one of the most challenging tiers in international football and Noel has done a very good job to keep Ireland competitive in that environment, continually improving players and the team’s overall ranking.

“Noel has also helped to develop a lot of players, which continues the good work being done along the elite player pathway. I thank Noel for his work with the U21s and look forward to continually supporting him in the Player Identification role.” 

The FAI say the process to find King’s replacement will begin in due course.

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