FAI part ways with Stephen Kenny: Details and player reaction

FAI part ways with Stephen Kenny: Details and player reaction

The FAI will not be renewing Stephen Kenny’s Ireland contract.

The Football Association of Ireland have announced the departure of senior manager Stephen Kenny.

A board meeting which commenced at 5pm this evening finalised the 52-year-old’s exit after more than three years of service.

Kenny led Ireland for the final time on Tuesday evening versus New Zealand and there were emotional scenes before and after the game.

Players were notified by the management before the match that it would be their last time together, despite no official FAI communication confirming such as certainty.

Kenny fielded a rotated team to thank peripheral players like Mark Sykes, Andrew Omobamidele and Mark Travers for their commitment throughout the year, but it came at the expense of drawing the friendly 1-1.

Players emotional as Kenny bids farewell.

The Irish dressing room was an emotional place afterwards as the injured John Egan thanked the Ireland management staff for their considerable efforts, while others like Jamie McGrath also paid tribute.

Pundit Arena understands that there was appetite within the group for Kenny to remain in charge for the Nations League, especially from senior players who were very impressed by the professionalism of the Ireland set-up compared to at least one of the previous regimes.

Matt Doherty told RTÉ after Tuesday’s match: “I’d love to see him and all the coaching staff stay.

“If people really saw what its really like on the training pitch, what its like in the changing room, how he cares about his players, just generally how they set us up, the attention to detail that they have…I think you’d be hard pressed to find somebody else who can deliver that”.

Injured internationals were also aggravated by some of the television coverage surrounding Ireland’s away defeat to the Netherlands, perceiving elements of it as disingenuous.

It is important for the players that the FAI’s next appointment is somebody who not only builds on Kenny’s foundations but also shows a similar care for meeting the needs of modern players.

Sports scientists, psychologists and analysts all played significant roles in Kenny’s Ireland camps, as did his popular assistants Keith Andrews, John O’Shea, Stephen Rice and Dean Kiely.

It is the understanding of Pundit Arena that the FAI have not identified a potential replacement at this time.