Stephen Kenny focused on date with Slovakia

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has welcomed confirmation of dates for the Euro 2020 play-offs and, before them, the Nations League games with which he will begin his competitive reign in the senior dug-out.
Stephen Kenny focused on date with Slovakia

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny taking part in last month's Run 24 with Muirhevna Mor to raise funds for Cuidigh Linn. Photo: INPHO/Morgan Treacy
Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny taking part in last month's Run 24 with Muirhevna Mor to raise funds for Cuidigh Linn. Photo: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has welcomed confirmation of dates for the Euro 2020 play-offs and, before them, the Nations League games with which he will begin his competitive reign in the senior dug-out.

The health climate permitting, Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Slovakia will now take place in Bratislava on October 8, with the final to follow on November 12. Should Ireland overcome Slovakia, they will face the winners of Northern Ireland versus Bosnia in that game.

There was also confirmation that Kenny’s first game in charge will be a Nations League game away to Bulgaria on Thursday, September 3, followed three days later by his home debut against Finland at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, September 6.

“It is good to have clarity now in relation to the forthcoming games in the UEFA Nations League and the EURO 2020 play-offs,” said Kenny.

“Bulgaria away and Finland, at home, will be our first two fixtures in the new international season and these Nations League games are very important in terms of World Cup rankings and potential play-offs and also as preparation for the Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia in October.

“I am also pleased that we will get two competitive games in September to help us in our preparations before the play-off against Slovakia in the first game the following month.”

With his team also set to play Nations League games, after the play-off semi-final, at home to Wales and away to Finland, Kenny told FAI.ie: “It is unique to have three internationals in one window - and two of them away - but our main focus in October will be on that Slovakia game.

“As a coaching staff, we have already been planning for all the games later this year and now that we have definite dates for all the fixtures, we can plan with more detail.”

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