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Kenny's role expanded

Republic of Ireland senior soccer manager Stephen Kenny, left, after he signed a picture of himself by artist Emma Barling donated by Dundalk player Patrick Hoban, right, for the Run 24 with Muirhevna Mor FC to raise funds for Cuidigh Linn, a community center for seniors. INPHO/MORGAN TREACY

By Seán Creedon

In what is seen as a surprise move Republic of Ireland senior manager Stephen Kenny is to have a place on the FAI’s executive team, but there’s no room for Niall Quinn under restructuring plans unveiled to staff recently. Following a thorough review by interim CEO Gary Owens and human resources consultant Yvonne Clancy, the executive team in Abbotstown will be reduced from 14 to 9 next month. The role of Kenny, promoted from under 21 to senior manager in April, has expanded to international football director. Quinn is expected to retain a place at the top table as he is likely to get a job in marketing or with the League of Ireland. Although the FAI has advertised for a full-time CEO, it looks very much like Owens will continue in the interim role for a few more months at least.

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Meanwhile Robbie Keane has left English club Middlesbrough after the club sacked manager Jonathan Woodgate last week and replaced him with the much travelled Neil Warnock. Keane was appointed assistant manager to Woodgate last year, his first club coaching role. The Dubliner, who celebrates his 40th birthday next week, only signed a one-year deal when he was brought in to assist his former Leeds United team-mate Woodgate , so his contract was due to expire at the end of June. It’s understood that Robbie opted to sign up for a short stay with ‘Boro because of his arrangement with Ireland. But he is now in limbo after Stephen Kenny was given the power to bring in his own backroom team and he opted against including Keane and instead brought in Damien Duff from Celtic. Boro made the decision to bring in the experienced Warnock as they are just one place outside of the relegation zone with eight games left in the Championship. Last week Shelbourne confirmed that Duff will coach their under 17 team, combining the job with his FAI job. Duff previously coached the Shamrock Rovers under 15 team, before moving to Celtic.