Mick McCarthy: Is the new manager of the Republic of Ireland

Newly appointed Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy during Sunday's press conference
Newly appointed Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy during Sunday's press conference

Mick McCarthy has been reappointed as Republic of Ireland manager on a two-year contract, the Football Association of Ireland has announced.

McCarthy, who previously left the role in the wake of the 2002 World Cup, has been tasked with securing qualification for Euro 2020 - when four games will be held in Dublin.

The FAI also confirmed Stephen Kenny’s appointment as Under-21 coach, with the intention of him succeeding McCarthy after the 2020 finals.

McCarthy said: “I’m honoured and excited to be back with the Republic of Ireland. I am delighted that the FAI Board and CEO have given me this opportunity to lead the team to EURO 2020.”

McCarthy, who will be joined by his long-time assistant Terry Connor, has been out of a job since electing to leave Championship side Ipswich in April.

He added: “I have been involved in club football for the last 15 years, so this will be a new challenge but one that I know well.

“I’m delighted to have Terry Connor, a trusted colleague and excellent coach, and Robbie Keane, one of the finest players who I had the pleasure of managing, helping me as assistant coaches.

“I am looking forward to getting started and embracing this challenge to qualify for Euro 2020, where it would be fantastic to play in front of the Ireland supporters (at the) Aviva Stadium.”

FAI chief executive John Delaney said McCarthy was the obvious candidate to replace Martin O’Neill, who left the role this week after relegation in the Nations League.

Delaney said: “This is a very exciting time for Irish football as we are able to welcome back a proven manager at international level in Mick McCarthy and also look to the future with Stephen Kenny.

“Mick was a great player for Ireland and then had a terrific impact as manager by guiding the team to the round of 16 in the 2002 World Cup following a memorable draw with eventual finalists Germany.

“There is no doubt that he knows international football and has the appetite to lead the team forward again.”

The highly-rated Kenny, who led Dundalk to the group stages of the Europa League in 2016, is set to be unveiled at a separate press conference next week.