Arthur James O'Dea
Arthur James O'Dea

10.49 3 Jul 2019


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As the Republic of Ireland women's national team search for a new manager, Ruth Fahy considered the possibility of making a move for Brian Kerr on Wednesday's OTB AM

Two-months before Ireland commence their qualification campaign for the 2021 European Championships, the departure of Colin Bell could rightfully be construed as poorly timed.

Set to be hosted by England, former Irish international Áine O'Gorman stressed the importance of Ireland qualifying for what will in essence be a 'home' tournament during her appearance on Tuesday's OTB AM.

Ruth Fahy, speaking on Wednesday's show, went so far as to suggest that if the Ireland women's team find themselves looking on from afar in two years time, it will constitute a failure.

With that, it is not surprising that both O'Gorman and Fahy stressed the importance of the decision now facing the FAI as they look to replace Colin Bell.

"Who knows what kind of candidates will apply," Fahy queried, "but hopefully the calibre will be high.

"It's a bit like the men's team where we have this major tournament looming that we have to qualify for."

Adamant that Bell's replacement must demonstrate a keen focus on both the domestic league and the future of women's football in Ireland, Brian Kerr offered one potential wildcard selection that Ruth Fahy could certainly get behind.

"I think the whole community of women's football is open to something like that," she responded to the question of a possible move for Kerr.

"Something along the lines of Brian Kerr, like what Phil Neville has done in England, I think it would be great.

"For me, it doesn't even necessarily need to be someone with big tournament experience.

"Yes, the next campaign is crucial but this is about Irish football and I want someone to come in and really, really focus on our national league because it's falling apart."

Appointed manager of the Republic of Ireland men's team in 2003, Kerr's two-year stint in the job signaled the end of his fruitful relationship with the FAI.

Guiding u-16 and u-18 sides to unprecedented European Championship success in the late 1990s, Kerr also managed an Ireland side to a third-placed finish at the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championships.

Possessing a deep affinity for men's domestic football in Ireland, it is uncertain what knowledge of the women's game Kerr currently has.

However, with the Ireland women's team desperate to qualify for the upcoming Euros, the possibility of acquiring a manager of Kerr's experience, ability and passion for Irish football rightfully whets the appetite of those looking for an advancement to be made on the Colin Bell era.


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Brian Kerr Colin Bell Republic Of Ireland Women's Football Team Ruth Fahy

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