Former Manchester United midfield maestro and club captain, Roy Keane has opened as a betting favorite and leading candidate for the role of manager of the Republic of Ireland national team, after the FAI confirmed how Stephen Kenny would not be offered a contract extension, and would be dismissed from his role as head coach.
Kenny, a former Dundalk manager in the Irish domestic league, took the reigns of the Republic of Ireland national team back in April 2020 – turning in a rather dismal qualifiying campaign for UEFA Euro 2024, having failed to lead the side to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar to boot.
And following last night’s 1-1 draw with New Zealand in James McClean’s final outing for the national side, a confirmation tonight from the FAI confirmed how head coach, Kenny would be dismissed from his role as manager – electing against extending the Dubliner’s contract, after the 52-year-old managed to turn in a rather disappointing 27 percent winning run.
Initial odds for the Ireland national team manager have placed form assistant manager and former national side captain, Roy Keane as an initial betting favorite for Ireland’s next coach at several UK online gambling venues. There, sports fans can bet on the Cork native (a stunning 2/1 betting favorite) to land the prestigious gig, but that’s not all these sites have to offer. Alongside such exciting sports betting opportunities, they also feature a robust casino section where UK bettors can dive into a variety of real-cash casino games, playing with and potentially winning real money.
In a statement released tonight, the FAI confirmed that a search was underway to find a new national team manager, ahead of friendly internationals next March, and the incoming Nations League campaign next year.
“Having reviewed the EURO 2024 qualification campaign in it’s entirety, and recognizing how difficult the group was, the results needed to realise our goal of qualification for the tournament were not realized,” The FAI statement read.
“The Board agrees that now is the right time for change ahead of the friendly matches in March and June 2024 and the next Nations League campaign starting in September 2024.”
Having spent over 12 years out of management, Cork native, Keane has emerged as a candidate to lead Ireland, alongside former Celtic head coach and Lurgan native, Neil Lennon, and England U21 head coach and former Ireland international midfielder, Lee Carsley.
Managing both Sunderland and Ipswitch Town, Keane managed to get the former side promoted to the Premier League – retaining a 42 percent winning rate at the time of his departure from the Stadium of Light back in 2008.
Leading Ipswitch Town in the Championship until 2011 following his 2009 arrival, Keane departed ‘The Tractor Boys’ after landing a 34 percent winning rate.
Up until 2018, Keane served as the Irish national team’s assistant manager alongside former Celtic and Aston Villa head coach, Martin O’Neill, until both were dismissed, having led Ireland to their most recent international tournament, EURO 2016.
Dropping a loss to Belgium during the group stage, Ireland would score a point against Sweden in the group opener with a goal from Wes Hoolahan firing the side in front, before an own goal levelled things.
In a pivotal group stage match against defending EURO champions, Italy, Ireland progressed to the last 16 courtesy of a late header from former Manchester United winger, Robbie Brady. And despite going ahead through an early penalty from Brady in a knockout clash with France, Ireland were put to the sword through a brace from Atletico Madrid forward, Antoine Griezmann.