Mark Kennedy is one of the names being linked with the Republic of Ireland job, according to The Irish Examiner.
Ireland have had a miserable qualifying campaign for Euro 2024, in a tough group also featuring France and the Netherlands. However, a dismal display against Greece has meant Stephen Kenny’s men are now more likely to qualify for the competition by losing their next game. That’s not a situation the FAI wishes to repeat, and whilst Kenny is reluctant to go, it’s likely his departure will be finalised in November.
That means a new manager for Ireland, and whilst England Under 21 boss Lee Carsley is a favourite, Mark’s name has also been mentioned in the report. It has been suggested his work on a limited budget at Sincil Bank has not gone unnoticed at the FAI’s Abbotstown headquarters. He’s being named in the same breath as Damien Duff, the Shelbourne manager, who has also impressed at a domestic level. Another name is also in the frame – current Greek boss Gus Poyet.
England U21 manager Lee Carsley is the favourite to become the next Ireland manager with former internationals Mark Kennedy of Lincoln City and Damien Duff also liked within the FAI !🇮🇪
Stephen Kenny’s departure is set to be formalised after a meeting of the FAI board on… pic.twitter.com/Y4qzSGdmaB
— Rep of Ireland Player Tracker (@reptracker) October 18, 2023
Kennedy played 34 times for his country, debuting in 1995 against Austria. He scored four times, but during his time as an international, they did not qualify for a major tournament. His final game came in February 2002, with injury ruling him out of the 2002 World Cup, which saw them draw with Germany and Spain, with the latter eliminating them on penalties.
That was their last World Cup appearance, and if they wish to be at the 2026 tournament, they’ll need to be better. Could Mark be the man to take them forward? Whilst I’m sure it is flattering for him to be mentioned, it does seem likely that should Kenny go (and he will), Lee Carsley will be the main shout.
That said, I wonder when the last time one of our managers was linked with a major international job, if ever?