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New deal, now Trapattoni wants Republic to take on the world

By Ian Parkes

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is relishing the chance to “grow and develop” the team after agreeing a contract extension which will run until the 2014 World Cup.

The Football Association of Ireland have rewarded the Italian coach for his success in securing the Republic's place at the Euro 2012 finals with victory over Estonia in their recent qualification play-off.

Trapattoni's deal will again be part-funded by businessman Denis O'Brien, who played a significant part in the FAI's original acquisition of the former European Cup winner.

“I am very happy to continue my job with the FAI,” said Trapattoni, whose assistant Marco Tardelli has also signed a new deal.

“I have always said that Marco and I believe very strongly in the work that we are doing to grow and develop the Irish team. It is a huge honour and a privilege to represent the Irish team and we look forward to continuing this important task.”

FAI chief executive John Delaney said: “On behalf of the FAI board of management, we are very happy to agree a contract extension with Giovanni Trapattoni and his team.

“They have done fantastic work with the squad, bringing us to qualification for a major tournament for the first time in 10 years, increasing our world ranking to 21st and introducing many new players for the future.

“The FAI board of management are particularly grateful to Denis O'Brien for his continuing contribution which gives the Irish team and supporters the benefit of Giovanni's services into the next World Cup campaign.”

The Italian's brief had been to steer the team to the Euro 2012 play-offs, which he achieved before going on to secure their first appearance at a major finals for a decade with a 5-1 aggregate win over Estonia.

Republic utility man Stephen Ward, who scored in the second leg draw against Estonia, welcomed the news.

“He's done a fantastic job since taking over the national side,” said the Wolves player.

“I suppose there's no better man to take us on, hopefully, to the World Cup in 2014.

“I think the job he's done has really given the country a massive lift.”

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