Stephen Kenny sends Ireland kitmen packing

New Ireland senior boss Stephen Kenny has continued ringing the changes on the backroom staff by dispensing with kitman duo Dick Redmond and Mick Lawlor.
Stephen Kenny sends Ireland kitmen packing
Republic of Ireland kitmen Mick Lawlor, left, and Dick Redmond. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile.

New Republic of Ireland senior boss Stephen Kenny has continued ringing the changes on the backroom staff by dispensing with kitman duo Dick Redmond and Mick Lawlor.

The pair had handled the key responsibility of the squad operations since 2008 when drafted in by Liam Brady after Giovanni Trapattoni was headhunted as manager.

Lawlor is a distinguished ex-League of Ireland footballer who won five senior caps in the early 1970s while Redmond was best known as secretary of the Amateur Union League who was close to former chief executive John Delaney.

They had continued the roles under the regimes of Martin O’Neill and Mick McCarthy but new chief Kenny is overseeing a complete overhaul of support staff.

Fergus McNally, an old school friend of Kenny who has worked as his kitman as Longford Town, Bohemians, and, most recently, Ireland’s U21s, is expected to fill the vacancy. He will likely have a new assistant too.

Redmond confirmed his exit on Friday on Twitter and its understood Lawlor has also been informed that he won’t be part of the new era which is due to kick off with the Nations League campaign in September away to Bulgaria.

“After 21 years (nine with U21s) of being a very proud kitman for the Republic of Ireland, my time has come to step aside. I would like to wish Stephen Kenny and his team the very best of luck for the future and remember we all win in their success. I have made so many friends. God bless and stay safe.”

The 64-year-old shot to prominence in late 2015 with a video of him donning a Superman outfit in the post-Euro 2016 play-off dressing-room celebrations. He appeared on various television shows, including Sky Sports and TV3, explaining his ritual. He was understood to have a Batman suit in his bag ready to unleash only for the World Cup play-off against Denmark in November 2017 to go disastrously wrong.

Most controversially within the cull, Kenny opted against maintaining Robbie Keane’s presence on the coaching staff despite him being under contract with the FAI for another two years on €250,000 per annum.

The FAI have so far been unable to find a suitable alternative role for their record goalscorer and negotiations continue with his agent Ciarán Medlar about a potential severance deal.

Damien Duff has replaced his pal Keane by performing a specific coaching role in the Kenny fold, while Keith Andrews has stepped up from the U21s as to act in the same assistant’s post.

Kenny has confirmed he intends discussing with Damien Doyle his promotion also from the U21s and he’s raided former club Dundalk to recruit Ruaidhri Higgins as analyst.

The Lilywhites on Tuesday slammed the “nature of the approach” and are claiming compensation for Higgins, a form of redress they couldn’t pursue when Kenny made the same switch 18 months ago.

Alan Kelly is so far the only surviving member of McCarthy’s backroom team, with Kenny admitting that a strong recommendation from his former Derry City player David Forde contributed to him retaining the goalkeeping coach.

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