Bonner would be open to FAI return

Ireland legend Packie Bonner has said that admits he would be open to working at making a comeback to the crisis-hit FAI again.

Bonner would be open to FAI return

Ireland legend Packie Bonner has said that admits he would be open to working at making a comeback to the crisis-hit FAI again.

Bonner fell victim to the FAI financial issues in 2010 when, as technical director, he was part of a raft of redundancies.

The Donegal native, who was last night feted honoured at the SSE Airtricity Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland (SWAI) awards 30 years after the 1990 World Cup, has been mentioned for a potential return as the FAI seeks to get back on its feet following a year of upheaval.

Bonner, who works with UEFA in a part-time coaching capacity, admitted he would welcome an offer of a discussion with executive lead Paul Cooke and new chairman Roy Barrett.

“People can sit down and talk to me whenever,” said the 80-times capped goalkeeper, who turns 60 in May.

“I’m available to talk, but that’s the decision for people to make. I’m not going to go and say: ‘Ah, I should be involved’. Of course not, but I’m there to support because we’re passionate about this country. I’ve no problem chatting about football.”

Meanwhile, Vinny Perth has been crowned Personality Of The Year at the annual SSE Airtricity/SWAI banquet.

Having taken over at Dundalk from Stephen Kenny — who had himself claimed the same award the previous year — Perth oversaw the Lilywhites’ 2019 league title success, as well as leading his team to an FAI Cup final against Shamrock Rovers.

In claiming the prestigious gong, Perth saw off competition from the Hoops’ Jack Byrne — who helped his side to a long-awaited cup triumph as well as breaking into the senior Irish team in 2019 — as well as one of his own Dundalk players, Sean Gannon.

The other nominees on the shortlist were Rovers boss Stephen Bradley, Bohemians manager Keith Long, and Dundalk player Chris Shields.

Making it a night of double success for the champions, Dundalk’s Gary Rogers was named Goalkeeper Of The Year, ahead of Shamrock Rovers’ Alan Mannus and James Talbot of Bohemians.

The Dublin ceremony in also saw the Liam Tuohy Special Merit Award go to referee Michelle O’Neill, who was an assistant referee at last summer’s Women’s World Cup final in which the United States beat the Netherlands 2-0 in France.

She was also part of the first all-female team to officiate at a major men’s European final — the Uefa Super Cup decider between Liverpool and Chelsea.

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