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Stephen Kenny contract extension will be signed before Belgium game

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny. Photo: Sportsfile

Daniel McDonnell

FAI CEO Jonathan Hill says that Stephen Kenny’s contract extension will be finalised and announced in advance of March’s friendly in Belgium and denied that the size of his backroom team has been a factor in negotiations.

But Hill was coy on the issue of whether a clause has been inserted that would give the FAI the option to pay an agreed amount to Kenny in the event that this year’s Nations League campaign went so badly that they wanted to make a change ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifiers.

“We are very comfortable we’ll have an announcement well before the Belgium game. I don’t think there’s any issue in relation to his backroom team,” said Hill, who was guarded on questions around the worst-case Nations League scenario.

“The good thing is we know Stephen wants to continue to be the coach, we want him to be the coach so we’re just in that stage of any negotiation where we’re talking through the parameters of that.”

Hill admitted that the departure of coach Anthony Barry for a role with Belgium was a blow but said Kenny should be congratulated for recruiting a candidate of that calibre in the first place and hinted the search for a replacement would be in a similar market.

“Anthony felt it was something he couldn’t turn down,” said Hill. “Maybe he has raised the bar in relation to the quality of person we want in there.”

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