Belfast Telegraph

Nigel can lead us to World Cup joy: Healy

King David backs Worthington to take team to a new level

By Steven Beacom

David Healy believes Nigel Worthington can guide Northern Ireland to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

Record goalscorer Healy is delighted that the Worthington saga is about to come to an end with the former Norwich City boss ready to commit himself to manage Northern Ireland for another two years.

Worthington's contract, as revealed in The Belfast Telegraph last month, will be the richest in Irish FA history.

He will be on around £300,000 per year. The whole package for Worthington and his backroom staff - coach Glynn Snodin and goalkeeping coach Fred Barber - will be over £400,000 per year.

Given the figures involved the Northern Ireland public will demand success.

Healy believes the Green and White Army will get it.

"I genuinely believe Nigel is the man to build on the progress that has been made in the last few years," said Healy.

"It is never easy for any manager to come in halfway through a campaign, but Nigel almost guided us to the Euro 2008 finals.

"Now I'm sure he will have his sights on the World Cup.

"And from what I have seen so far I believe he can take us to the finals in South Africa in 2010.

" Certainly he will have the support of the players and our wonderful fans."

IFA President Raymond Kennedy said today: "I met with the IFA Renumerations Committee who were happy enough and then Nigel's deal was the only thing discussed at an IFA Executive Committee meeting last night.

"Everything is agreed in principle. What will happen now is that we will send a draft contract over to Nigel on Monday and then our expecatation is that he will join myself and David Currie in Bratislava where the fixtures meeting for the World Cup qualifiers takes place on Wednesday.

" On Friday Nigel should be in Belfast to sign the contract and then we can move on from there."

As stated in this newspaper earlier in the week, Worthington's new deal includes a buy-out clause, meaning that unlike when Lawrie Sanchez moved to Fulham last year, the IFA will receive hefty compensation if Nigel returns to club football halfway through his contract.

Also in the contract will be an assurance from Worthington that he will be in Northern Ireland for at least 60 to 70 days per year when he will be involved in marketing.

He will also play an active role in developing young players in Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph