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Stephen Kenny is sure that he has left a “wonderful job” for someone else as his contract as manager of the Republic of Ireland was not extended.
Kenny’s team placed fourth in their group during the Euro 2024 qualifiers, only managing to win two out of eight matches. Following their 1-1 draw with New Zealand in a friendly on Tuesday, the Football Association of Ireland quickly announced that they would not be extending his time as coach.
During his 52 years as coach, the individual in question made significant changes, but unfortunately did not achieve enough victories. While opinions may vary on his impact, he strongly believes that the team he has reconstructed – with 26 players making their competitive debuts under his leadership – will be beneficial for his successor.
“According to him, the team is full of excitement and he sees it as a fantastic opportunity, especially with the combination of young talent and experienced players. He mentioned this before the official announcement.”
The upcoming September will see the team with more club experience. If we were to choose the strongest squad with all players healthy, there is a lot of talent within it. I believe it is a commendable achievement at this point.
Kenny has been forced to introduce a new group of offensive players due to the departure of David McGoldrick in November 2020. As a result, he has called upon Adam Idah, Michael Obafemi, and Chiedozie Ogbene, as well as the promising skills of Evan Ferguson and Celtic’s Mikey Johnston.
Despite some impressive showings and close calls, such as Ireland’s near victory against Portugal in Faro during a World Cup qualifier in September 2021, their record of only six wins in 29 competitive games is a concerning statistic.
Critics of Kenny’s initial hiring believe this justifies their doubts, and even his supporters have had to acknowledge that his efforts have not resulted in enough victories, ties, or points to maintain his position.
When asked if he would have made any different choices, he responded, “I have no regrets, but were all my actions perfect? No, they were not.”
The task I faced during the initial period was extremely challenging and I doubt anyone else could have handled it. However, that is simply how things are.
“Being given the opportunity to listen has been an incredible privilege and I am grateful for it every day.”
“I understand that there has been a significant amount of criticism, but let’s not focus on that right now. The Irish football community is fairly tight-knit and can be highly influenced by politics, which is disheartening.”
The Football Association of Ireland has announced that it is the ideal moment for transformation, with upcoming friendly games scheduled for March and June of 2024. The search for a new head coach will commence without delay.
During his time in office, Stephen and his team have put in a lot of effort to establish a suitable atmosphere for the growth of our men’s senior team. We are extremely thankful for their significant contribution, according to Jonathan Hill, CEO of the FAI.
“Under Stephen’s leadership, our senior men’s national team has undergone a significant period of change and has welcomed many new and younger players into the fold. This strong foundation will benefit whoever assumes control of the team moving forward.”
Unable to rephrase – Source: independent.co.uk