The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) on Monday appointed Noel King as the Republic of Ireland’s interim manager.
King, who was already working as Ireland’s Under-21 coach, has been asked to take over on a temporary basis as the FAI board continues the search for a permanent successor to Giovanni Trapattoni following the Italian’s sacking earlier this month.
King’s appointment was announced after a board meeting on Monday, at which it was also agreed that former Liverpool and Ireland star Ray Houghton, who was involved in the hiring of Trapattoni, and Ruud Dokter, the FAI’s newly appointed high performance director, should assess potential candidates to identify the best man for the job.
“The FAI’s board of management met this evening to review the work it has been doing on the senior men’s team managerial appointment and to progress the next steps in the appointment process,” it said in a statement. “After considering the views of people within the game and taking soundings from its constituent members, the board tonight decided that the next steps should include a comprehensive assessment of the market.”
“The Board of Management also decided that it will appoint its current Under-21s head coach, Noel King, as interim senior manager. Ruud Dokter will provide additional support,” the association said.
Former Juventus and Bayern Munich boss Trapattoni was axed after five years in charge of Ireland following the team’s 1-0 loss against Austria, a result that made it all but certain that they will fail to qualify for the World Cup.
Ireland face Germany in Cologne and Kazakhstan in Dublin in their final two qualifiers next month, knowing that their chances of making it to next year’s tournament in Brazil are purely mathematical.
Ireland are fourth in Group C, six points behind second-placed Sweden and 11 adrift of leaders Germany.
Former Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill was swiftly installed as the bookmakers’ favorite to replace Trapattoni, although with businessman Denis O’Brien ready to continue his financial support to pay for a top boss, there is no appetite to rush the process of finding a successor for the Italian.
“The Board of Management resolved that it will take the appropriate time to appoint the best person to manage Ireland for the Euro 2016 campaign, which starts in September next year,” the FAI statement added.
“Noel has an excellent track record with the Association and is well-respected throughout the game. He has worked first-hand with many current senior players during their time at [the] Under-21 level, including Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy, Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick,” it said.