Paul McShane appointed as Ireland under-21s assistant coach

Paul McShane appointed as Ireland under-21s assistant coach

Paul McShane made Ireland under-21s assistant coach.

Former Ireland and Sunderland defender Paul McShane has been appointed as assistant coach for the Republic of Ireland under-21s.

McShane graduated from Manchester United’s academy as a teenager and returned  in 2021 to become a player coach with their under-23s side. A couple of years on, and he is now the lead coach of the Red Devils’ under-15 outfit where is – by all accounts – making a fine impression.

Today’s news sees him replace another ex-Man United defender in John O’Shea who resigned as Jim Crawford’s assistant to take up a coaching role with the Ireland senior team where he now works alongside Stephen Kenny and Keith Andrews.

Bohemians academy manager Trevor Croly doubled jobbed over the course of the last two international windows in O’Shea’s absence, but today’s news means that he will not be working with the under-21s moving forward.

FAI add McShane as under-21s coach.

McShane currently holds a UEFA A License qualification but is studying to attain a Pro License course which will only help his coaching expertise.

Speaking about his appointment McShane said: “I can’t wait to get started with the Under-21s. I played for Ireland in the youth ranks from the age of 14 before going on to play senior level, so for me it is about passing on the experience I had as a player with the aim to help develop the next generation.

“I’m looking forward to it, I’m still learning as a coach and it has been a whirlwind few years since transitioning from player to coach but this is an unbelievable opportunity to coach with my country.”


Ireland Under-21 Head Coach Jim Crawford added: “I’m excited to have Paul on board with us. Speaking with people at Manchester United, he is very highly thought of and having seen Paul through his UEFA Pro Licence he has certainly impressed.

“His experience playing for Ireland at senior level is invaluable but what is key is he has played for the Under-21s internationally and knows what is required to excel at that level and progress as a player. That will be a huge benefit to our players and Paul is up for that challenge.”

He will join up with the Under-21s players and staff ahead of next week’s double header against Türkiye (Friday, September 8) and San Marino (Tuesday, September 12). Both matches take place at Turner’s Cross in Cork.