Belfast Telegraph

Kerr is first to make a move for Northern Ireland job

By Stuart McKinley

Brian Kerr has put himself in the running to become the first man to manage both Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Kerr — who led the Republic of Ireland from 2003 to 2005 — has officially told the Irish FA that he wants to be the next Northern Ireland boss. The Belfast Telegraph understands he has formally applied for the vacant post.

It will now be up to IFA president Jim Shaw and chief executive Patrick Nelson to decide if Kerr merits an interview.

Many fans would baulk at the thought of an ex-Republic boss taking charge of Northern Ireland, but Kerr’s mother and father were both born in Belfast.

And in addition to that he is thought to be one of the few candidates who have put themselves forward for the Northern Ireland job who can boast international management on their CV — and with two countries as well.

Fifty-eight-year-old Kerr was partly responsible for Nigel Worthington’s downfall with Northern Ireland.

His Faroes team pulled off a remarkable 1-1 draw in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Toftir, with Northern Ireland winning just once in the remaining seven competitive matches of Worthington’s reign — which came at home to the Faroes back in August.

Despite also beating Estonia in the qualifying group, Kerr was unable to agree a new contract to stay on as manager of the Faroes, which has led to him throwing his hat into the ring for the Northern Ireland post.

Former internationals Jim Magilton, Iain Dowie and Michael O’Neill remain the most likely candidates if the IFA decide that they want a Northern Ireland man for the job, while Gerry Armstrong is also keen.

Northern Ireland’s next match is against Norway in February.

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