DELANEY: I AM A CHILD OF LEAGUE OF IRELAND
JOHN DELANEY once described the League of Ireland as a ‘difficult child for the organisation’.
Four years on, the FAI chief appointed Dundalk’s manager as the U21 Ireland boss, with the senior manager role to follow in 2020.
Stephen Kenny’s elevation to the hot-seat once Mick Mccarthy’s departs is a sign of an improving league, according to Delaney, who claimed “nobody cares more about the League of Ireland than me”.
Ahead of today’s Euro 2020 draw, he said: “The league is making really positive steps. We want it coming forward at an even faster pace.
“But I’m not surprised a manager like Stephen Kenny, by 2020, can manage the senior international team. Absolutely not. You have to look at the individual and ask, can Stephen Kenny (above) do it? Of course he can.
“Stephen Kenny is an outstanding young manager and I think he’s going to be a big success for Irish football.”
Delaney (above) has found his ‘difficult child’ comment hard to shake; Ireland fans have even turned it into a flag.
Offering his case for the defence, Kenny stressed: “Honestly, I come from the League of Ireland.
“My dad used to bring me to League of Ireland games when he was chairman of Waterford. I was there when they won the Cup in 1980. I was secretary of Waterford.
“Nobody cares more about the League of Ireland than me.
“I didn’t mean it in that context and people should know that. It was where it was to where it is.”