Mc­Carthy to con­tact Rice as first port of call

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - FRONT PAGE - COLIN YOUNG Colin Young’s ex­clu­sive Mick Mc­Carthy in­ter­view Pages 2 and 3

MICK Mc­CARTHY will fly back into Dublin to­day to re­turn to the role as the Repub­lic of Ire­land man­ager. The 59-year-old has agreed an 18-month €1.2 mil­lion a year deal to lead the coun­try to the end of the Euro 2020 cam­paign.

He will take charge of Ire­land for a se­cond spell with the na­tion’s record goalscorer Rob­bie Keane work­ing as one of his as­sis­tants, along with Mc­Carthy’s long-term num­ber two Terry Con­nor who worked with him at Wolves and Ip­swich Town.

At the end of the Euro 2020 cam­paign the FAI then plan to hand the reins over to Dun­dalk man­ager Stephen Kenny who is on the verge of quit­ting the League of Ire­land cham­pi­ons. Kenny has agreed to take the role of un­der 21 coach, which he turned down last week, and will be men­tored for the se­nior job by Mc­Carthy.

For­mer Ire­land cap­tain and man­ager Mc­Carthy will be un­veiled at a press con­fer­ence at the Aviva Sta­dium at 3.0 to­day af­ter talks with chief ex­ec­u­tive John De­laney in Lon­don on Fri­day. Mc­Carthy, who was re­lieved of the job in 2002 af­ter a six-year reign, will be back in Dublin for the Euro 2020 group qual­i­fiers draw next Sun­day. Kenny will be for­mally in­tro­duced in his new role on Mon­day.

De­laney has turned to Mc­Carthy in a bid to qual­ify for the Euro 2020 fi­nals which will be held across 12 host cities, in­clud­ing Dublin, to cel­e­brate UEFA’s 50th an­niver­sary. The FAI parted com­pany with Martin O’Neill last week af­ter a run of one win in 11 games and a dis­as­trous Na­tions League cam­paign which saw Ire­land drop back to third seeds for the draw. The FAI couldn’t con­tem­plate the prospect not be­ing in­volved in a tour­na­ment they will be co-host­ing.

The Dun­dalk boss had wide­spread back­ing in the coun­try, par­tic­u­larly among League of Ire­land fol­low­ers but the FAI, with their eyes on the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship qual­i­fiers and fi­nals matches at the Aviva Sta­dium, feel the se­nior role is cur­rently best suited to a more ex­pe­ri­enced coach.

Rather than of­fer the op­tion of an ex­ten­sion for Mc­Carthy, the As­so­ci­a­tion want to cre­ate a path­way to the se­nior man­ager’s job for Kenny so he will be in charge for the World Cup 2022 cam­paign.

Mc­Carthy, who has taken charge of nearly 1,000 club games, won 57 caps as a de­fender for Ire­land, pre­dom­i­nantly as cap­tain un­der his pre­de­ces­sor Jack Charl­ton. Af­ter a spell as Mill­wall man­ager he re­turned to re­place Charl­ton and led the coun­try to the 2002 World Cup in Ja­pan and South Ko­rea. He was sacked five months af­ter the fi­nals in the wake of a poor start to the Euro 2004 cam­paign and the fall-out from Saipan.

Af­ter leav­ing the Ire­land job, he man­aged Sun­der­land for three years from March 2003, spent six years at Mo­lineux be­fore an­other six at Ip­swich, the only club where he did not gain pro­mo­tion.

Mick Mc­Carthy is re­turn­ing to the Ire­land hot seat

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