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Packie Bonner moves to dismiss reports claiming he had reservations about Kenny when he arrived

FAI board member Packie Bonner. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Daniel McDonnell

Packie Bonner insists he will not be Stephen Kenny’s kingmaker when the FAI board meet to discuss his future later this month.

The former Ireland goalkeeper is the highest-profile member of the board, and he yesterday moved to dismiss reports claiming he had reservations about Kenny when he arrived in the summer.

It was subsequently suggested that other members of the board would turn to Bonner for guidance given his background in the game.

Bonner would not offer his personal opinion on Kenny’s performance when asked directly at a FAI press event yesterday, with president Gerry McAnaney following that lead – although the ex-Celtic netminder did say he was encouraged by recent results.

Kenny’s future will be discussed at board level on November 29, with a review of the World Cup campaign on the table. It’s understood a majority of board members favour an extension which takes in the European Championships 2024 qualifying tilt.

“Whenever that happens it will be decided by the board, it won’t be decided by me,” said Bonner.

“I’m not going to answer it (question for his opinion) because I know you are trying to get a line from me to say if he will stay in a job or not, so I’m not going there.

“I’m one of 12 board members and we will discuss it. The first thing is that there will be a review of the World Cup (qualifying campaign) and that will be done. It will come to the board. We will discuss it and learn from it.

“That decision will be made eventually and I think everybody knows that. All of us will give our opinion on that and then Stephen’s contract will be dealt with. We’ve all been encouraged, it’s a progression, we’ve all been encouraged by what’s happened.”

McAnaney said: “I’m not going there, to be brutally honest. There will be a full review at the end of the month .”

When asked about a timeline for events after that summit, McAnaney replied: “I don’t have a crystal ball”.

Meanwhile, the FAI have said they have no indications from government that the attendance for Sunday week’s FAI Cup final with Bohemians and St Patrick’s Athletic will be affected by the tightening of Covid restrictions.

It’s believed that ticket sales are now approaching the 30,000 mark, with hopes it will rise again.

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