Fai chief executive John Delaney has confirmed that the new Ireland management team will be unveiled just after midday this Saturday.
Delaney spoke at length about the process behind the appointment of Martin O’Neill, with Roy Keane as his assistant, on Newstalk this morning. He told radio presenter Pat Kenny that Keane was O’Neill’s choice, adding that while the official paperwork has yet to be signed, he cannot foresee any issues that may prevent the duo from putting pen to paper.
Delaney said, “I’m sure for the public there might be a bit of surprise. What I can is that we have had detailed discussions both Roy and Martin for awhile. Almost done now and there is nothing that I think will be an impediment to the two guys in terms of Martin managing Ireland and Roy being the assistant. I hope that on the coming Saturday we will have an unveiling of the new Ireland manager.”
Both O’Neill and Keane will be on ITV this evening as part of the broadaster’s Champions League coverage of Manchester United’s group tie away to Real Sociedad. Delaney expects aspects of their appointment to be discussed on-air.
“They will be quizzed tonight,” he said. “The documents have to be signed. There has been contracts between the lawyers since Sunday and Monday but there is nothing in principle that will be an impediment to their signatures at this stage
With the lads being away at the Manchester United game will probably slow it down a bit but the solicitors have done great work over the last day or two. (Job done) as far as I can see, yes.”
Delaney added that he had met Keane for a discussion on his role last week and revealed that they had spoke briefly about their past dealings. “The past was discussed for about 30 seconds,” he said before adding it was best to learn from the past and not live in it.
When pressed by Kenny about the inevitable questions that will arise about Keane’s dismissal from Ireland’s training camp before the 2002 World Cup, Delaney’s voice rose. “Saipan was 13 years ago,” he declared.
Saipan was 11 years ago but Delaney’s point was valid. It is time to look forward and Saturday, 9 November will be circled red on many calendars across the nation.
– Additional reporting by Ben Blake