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John O'Shea named Republic of Ireland interim coach

O'Shea named Republic of Ireland interim coach
© Reuters
The Football Association of Ireland announces that John O'Shea has become the Republic of Ireland's interim coach.

The Football Association of Ireland has announced that John O'Shea has become the Republic of Ireland's interim coach.

Since Stephen Kenny was removed from his role in the dugout in November, the FAI have been searching for a permanent successor ahead of a number of friendlies being played before the start of the UEFA Nations League in September.

However, despite a number of high-profile names being linked with the position, a replacement has not been found three-and-a-half weeks before the double-header with Belgium and Switzerland.

That has now been rectified with legendary Irish defender O'Shea being appointed on an interim basis, with the plan being to bring in a permanent figure at the beginning of April.

As a player, O'Shea earned 118 caps for his country, putting him third on the all-time list, across an international career that spanned 17 years.

The former Manchester United defender has since held a number of various coaching roles, most recently at Birmingham City where he was on Wayne Rooney's backroom staff.

Republic of Ireland's Matt Doherty celebrates scoring their third goal with Shane Duffy on October 16, 2023© Reuters

Perhaps most notably, though, the 42-year-old has spent time as assistant manager with Republic of Ireland Under-21s and a period as assistant to Kenny before his departure.

Speaking to the association's official website, O'Shea said: "As everyone will know, I've always had immense pride representing my country, whether that be during my playing career or very recently, as part of the coaching staff for the men's senior team and the Under-21s.

"It's great that Paddy (McCarthy) has agreed to come on board for the two matches and work will begin straight away to prepare for two top-quality fixtures against great opposition in Belgium and Switzerland, in front of our fantastic home support.

"I've got great belief in this group of players to win football matches and looking forward to some positive results."

O'Shea takes over a team that recently failed to qualify for Euro 2024, albeit from an immensely-difficult group that featured France, Netherlands and an improving Greece side.

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