Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill signs four-year deal with IFA

Published 16/03/2016

High jump: Manager Michael O’Neill is thrown into the air by his Northern Ireland players after Euro 2016 qualification was secured
High jump: Manager Michael O’Neill is thrown into the air by his Northern Ireland players after Euro 2016 qualification was secured
Michael O'Neill and IFA president Jim Shaw.
Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill has signed a new four-year deal with the IFA.

As first revealed by the Belfast Telegraph back in November, O'Neill has signed a contract until 2020.

It is thought the new contract includes a compensation clause should a club bid for his much-sought-after services following the European Championships finals.

Read more: Northern Ireland boss O'Neill lands £500k a year deal - and IFA will net £750k if he takes club job

The 46-year-old is the most successful Northern Ireland manager in a generation having led the international team to qualification for Euro 2016 finals.

It will be the first time that Northern Ireland has competed at a European Championship finals and will be the country’s first major tournament in 30 years.

Michael O’Neill’s team also created history by becoming the first fifth seeds to win a European Championship qualifying group.

Michael said: “I am extremely proud to be manager of Northern Ireland and I have thoroughly enjoyed the role over the past four years.

“I am therefore pleased to have signed this new long-term contract with the stability that it brings to me, the staff and the players. We are all now looking forward to EURO 2016 and the chance to create more history this summer.”

Northern Ireland will play Poland, Ukraine and Germany in the group stage of UEFA European Championships finals 2016.

In December 2015 O’Neill’s achievements as Northern Ireland manager were recognised when he was awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award and the RTE Sports Manager of the Year Award.

O'Neill has been Northern Ireland manager since February 2012 having previously enjoyed success at Shamrock Rovers, Brechin City and Cowdenbeath. As a player he played 409 games at senior level and won 31 internationals caps for Northern Ireland.

Irish FA President, Jim Shaw, said: “Michael O’Neill has been absolutely magnificent for football in Northern Ireland. Most people could only dare to dream that Northern Ireland would play in a major Championship again but Michael made those dreams a reality.

“He is a wonderful ambassador for Northern Ireland and I am absolutely delighted that he has signed this new four-year contract with the Irish FA.”

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