Martin O’Neill has been confirmed as Republic of Ireland’s new manager, with Roy Keane named as his assistant.
The pair were heavily linked with the roles earlier on Tuesday and their appointments have now been made official by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).
O’Neill will replace Giovanni Trapattoni, after the Italian left the post in September following Ireland’s failure to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, while former Manchester United midfielder Keane has been brought in as his right-hand man.
Their appointment was confirmed by the FAI in a tweet from their official account on Tuesday, which read: “@FAIreland can confirm that both contracts have been signed. Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane will be Ireland’s new manager and assistant manager”
A few moments before the announcement was made, the pair – both working as television pundits – spoke about the challenge of leading the country.
“We’re excited by it, (and) looking forward to it greatly,” O’Neill told ITV Sport. “He’s (Keane) coming with me, I think he’ll be great for me, but more importantly great for the Republic of Ireland.”
Keane, who won 67 caps for Republic of Ireland as a player but caused controversy when he walked out on the squad ahead of the 2002 World Cup after a fall-out with boss Mick McCarthy, said that he was looking forward to getting started in his new role.
“(It is) fantastic news,” he said. “(I am) delighted, I’m very excited, and looking forward to working with the players and trying to get to the Euros (European Championships).”