League of Ireland

All white on the night: Dundalk appoint Stephen Kenny as new manager

The Dubliner will be confirmed as Dundalk’s new manager at a press conference tomorrow afternoon.

STEPHEN KENNY IS set for a speedy return to the dugout as manager of Dundalk.

The club have confirmed tonight that the former Derry City and Shamrock Rovers boss has penned a two-year deal.

The troubled Lilywhites, who saved their Premier Division status with a play-off win against Waterford, have been chasing Kenny since they parted ways with Darius Kierans at the end of the season.

Dundalk’s move was delayed while the Dubliner negotiated a compensation package with former employers Shamrock Rovers, but the appointment will be made official at a press conference tomorrow afternoon.

“As a club, we are thrilled to welcome Stephen Kenny as our new first-team manager,” says club director Ciaran Bond. “Stephen was our number one target from when we began the search for a new manager and we are delighted to be able to get him on board.”

Kenny, who was sacked by Rovers in September less than nine months into a three-year contract, becomes the third man to take up the Oriel Park challenge in the last 12 months.

Former Republic of Ireland underage supremo Sean McCaffrey was appointed for the 2012 campaign but quit in July with Dundalk struggling at the foot of the table, citing financial pressures and the restrictions placed on his plans for the club.

Lilywhites fans will be hoping that the move for Kenny, coupled with a change in ownership, will signal an era of renewed stablity. Dundalk were on the brink of collapse last season before owner Gerry Matthews struck a deal to sell the club to the Dundalk FC Trust and a local business consortium.

His brief Rovers nightmare aside, Kenny comes as one of the most highly regarded managers in domestic football. The 41-year-old won a league title with Bohemians in 2003 and also had two spells at Derry City either side of a year in the Scottish Premier League as Dunfermline boss.

He was appointed as Rovers boss last December, succeeding Michael O’Neill who left Tallaght to take the Northern Ireland job after winning back-to-back league titles in 2010 and 2011.

But his time with the Hoops got off to a rocky start including a 5-1 defeat against Dublin rivals St Pat’s, and after Rovers failed to progress in the Champions League qualifiers and surrendered their title hopes, he was sacked in September.

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