Belfast Telegraph

Trap’s deal is World Cup boost for FAI

Giovanni Trapattoni will attempt to book a trip to next summer's World Cup finals having secured a new two-year contract as Republic of Ireland boss.

The 70-year-old has agreed a deal with the Football Association of Ireland to remain at the helm until 2012.

His new contract, as his old one was, has been part-funded by billionaire Denis O'Brien.

The extension represents a reward for Ireland's performance under his leadership with World Cup qualification a distinct possibility with two games of the Group Eight campaign to play.

Trapattoni, who yesterday named a 27-man provisional squad for next month's decisive qualifiers against his native Italy and Montenegro, said: “I am delighted to continue my job with the FAI.

“This squad has huge potential. Our results demonstrate what self belief and structure can achieve and I am really looking forward to continuing the work we have begun.”

Trapattoni has had his critics as he has gone about the business of making his side difficult to beat, but his justification is a qualifying campaign which sees his side unbeaten in eight games.

FAI chief executive John Delaney said: “We are very happy to agree a contract extension with Giovanni Trapattoni.

“The players and everyone on the FAI Board of management have been tremendously impressed by the professionalism, dedication and commitment of Giovanni Trapattoni and his team.

“We thank Denis O'Brien for his continuing contribution which will guarantee the services of one of the world's most successful managers, through until 2012.”

O'Brien's involvement in Trapattoni's recruitment last year did not meet with universal approval, but his continued support has allowed the FAI to tie up the immediate future of a man whose influence has helped to create real belief in the team's chances of making it to South Africa.

O'Brien said: “When the appointment of Giovanni Trapattoni was announced, we said that hiring the right people would enable us to get the right results.

“In Giovanni, the team has grown in stature and confidence and I am very happy to renew my partnership with the FAI, Giovanni Trapattoni and the Irish squad for the coming campaign.”

Trapattoni sprang few surprises in announcing his squad for the forthcoming games, adding Steven Reid, Paul McShane and Darren O'Dea to the men who did duty in Cyprus earlier this month.

Republic of Ireland squad: Given (Manchester City), Westwood (Coventry City), Murphy (Scunthorpe Utd), O'Shea (Manchester Utd), Foley (Wolves), Dunne (Aston Villa), Kelly (Fulham), Kilbane (Hull City), Nolan (Preston North End), St Ledger (Middlesbrough), McShane (Hull City), O'Dea (Reading), McGeady (Celtic), Duff (Fulham), Gibson (Manchester Utd), Whelan (Stoke City), Andrews (Blackburn Rovers), Miller (Hibernian), Hunt (Hull City), Keogh (Wolves), Reid (Blackburn Rovers), Lawrence (Stoke City), Folan (Middlesbrough), Doyle (Wolves), Keane (Tottenham Hotspur), Long (Reading), Best (Coventry City).

Belfast Telegraph


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