Quinn: Euro qualification would be bonus for Kenny

FAI deputy chief executive Niall Quinn admits Stephen Kenny would enter bonus territory by guiding Ireland to next year’s Euro finals.
Quinn: Euro qualification would be bonus for Kenny
Niall Quinn: "It’s something we believe he can do but nobody needs to put more pressure on him than he has already, particularly from the association."

FAI deputy chief executive Niall Quinn admits Stephen Kenny would enter bonus territory by guiding Ireland to next year’s Euro finals.

Kenny was due to take over for the Nations League and World Cup campaigns later this year until the coronavirus fallout last week hastened the changeover with Mick McCarthy.

Uefa's revised calendar includes the Euro play-off semi-final against Slovakia in the Autumn schedule, likely October, with Kenny revealing the final against Bosnia-Herzegovina or Northern Ireland due a month later.

Kenny’s opening assignments in September are due to be the Nations League double-header with Bulgaria and Finland.

Former Ireland striker Quinn, who joined the FAI in January alongside another interim recruit, chief executive Gary Owens, has today spoken for the first time about Kenny’s premature elevation.

Quinn spent last weekend breaking bad news to his former strike partner, Robbie Keane, about Kenny’s decision to replace him on the backroom team with another ex-teammate, Damien Duff.

The 53-year-old, while highlighting the appetising prospect of Ireland reaching the tournament next year, in which four games will be staged in Dublin, won’t burden the new boss with the hopes of an expectant nation.

Only last week Owens outlined how welcome a minimum €9m qualification windfall would represent to an organisation carrying debts of over €60m.

“There’s four managers in our pot who are thinking of bringing their team to the Euros,” Quinn told Virgin Media Sport.

“We’ve just got to support as best we can.

"He’s already looking at all options, in terms of which way the games might work out. That’s not to mean he’s looking too far beyond Slovakia in the first instance.

“The homework will be done and we’re confident the team will give a good account of themselves.

“It’s something we believe he can do but nobody needs to put more pressure on him than he has already, particularly from the association.

It would be huge if it comes off. It’s not the be-all and end-all of Stephen Kenny’s career but it would be some bonus if it happened.

“Success under Stephen, for me, will be measured by the fulfilment that he’d love to see all the schoolboy and schoolboy teams trying to copy how his team play.

It’s a big task to get there but would be some measure.”

Quinn endorses the arrival of Duff from Celtic in August just in time for the planned resumption of the international calendar.

“To have Damien on board is fantastic. He’s had some many admirers about his coaching ability, people waxing lyrical, and we’re thrilled to have that.

“We’re thrilled to back Stephen on it. That’s the big thing because he’s delighted as anyone to have him join Keith Andrews and Alan Kelly on the backroom team.”

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