The FAI have confirmed that Jim Crawford will take over as the new Ireland U21 manager as Stephen Kenny takes charge of the senior international side.
Crawford, who was Kenny’s assistant, will be joined by former Irish defender John O’Shea in the role, while Keith Andrews makes the jump up to the senior side.
Alan Kelly also continues as the Irish goalkeeping coach in a role he has under Stephen Staunton, Giovanni Trapattoni and Mick McCarthy.
There is however no mention of McCarthy’s assistant Robbie Keane in the FAI’s statement but it is expected that the former striker will not be involved in Kenny’s setup.
“The calibre of Stephen Kenny’s backroom team is top class and these are great additions to our senior team coaching staff,” said FAI Interim CEO Gary Owens as he confirmed the appointments to FAI.ie.
“Keith and Damien served Ireland so well as players and their experience will be such an addition to our senior squad’s support team.
“Keith and Stephen have worked brilliantly together with the Under-21 squad and Damien, currently finishing his UEFA Pro Licence with the FAI’s Coach Education department, has impressed everyone with his coaching skills and his switch from world class player to coach.
“Alan knows international football inside and was part of the squad at two World Cup finals. He is highly regarded as a coach with Premier League side Everton and has huge experience with Ireland.
“Together, Keith, Damien and Alan have so much to offer Stephen and his players as we look forward to the UEFA EURO 2020 Play-Offs, the Nations League and the World Cup qualifiers.”
Crawford and O’Shea will be hoping they can continue to build on Ireland’s brilliant start to their U21 European Championship qualifiers which has seen them top their group.
“Everyone at the FAI is delighted with Jim’s promotion to manager from assistant and he has a great number two now in John O’Shea as he takes the next step on his coaching career,” added Owens.
“On behalf of President Gerry McAnaney, the Board of the FAI and myself, I wish Stephen, Jim and their coaching teams the very best of luck in their new roles. We know they will do Irish football proud”.
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