Giovanni Trapattoni agrees new Republic of Ireland deal

 

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The Independent Football

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is relishing the chance to "grow and develop" the team after agreeing a contract extension which will run until the 2014 World Cup.

The Football Association of Ireland have rewarded the Italian coach for his recent success in securing the Republic's place at next summer's Euro 2012 finals with victory over Estonia in their recent qualification play-off.

Trapattoni's deal will again be part-funded by businessman Denis O'Brien, who played a significant part in the FAI's original acquisition of the former European Cup winner.

"I am very happy to continue my job with the FAI," said Trapattoni, whose assistant Marco Tardelli has also signed a new deal.

"I have always said that Marco and I believe very strongly in the work that we are doing to grow and develop the Irish team. It is a huge honour and a privilege to represent the Irish team and we look forward to continuing this important task."

FAI chief executive John Delaney said: "On behalf of the FAI board of management, we are very happy to agree a contract extension with Giovanni Trapattoni and his team of Marco Tardelli and Fausto Rossi.

"They have done fantastic work with the squad, bringing us to qualification for a major tournament for the first time in 10 years, increasing our world ranking to 21st and introducing many new players for the future. Giovanni's experience, professionalism and achievement in qualifying for EURO 2012 has impressed everyone including the players and the FAI board.

"The FAI board of management are particularly grateful to Denis O'Brien for his continuing contribution which gives the Irish team and supporters the benefit of Giovanni's services into the next World Cup campaign."

The Italian's brief had been to steer the national team to the Euro 2012 play-offs, which he achieved before going on to secure the Republic's first appearance at a major finals for a decade with a 5-1 aggregate win over Estonia.

Republic utility man Stephen Ward, who scored in the second leg draw against Estonia, welcomed the news.

"He's done a fantastic job since taking over the national side," the Wolves player told Sky Sports News.

"It's obviously been great for him and great for us and I suppose there's no better man to take us on, hopefully, to the World Cup in 2014.

"Obviously the country is fully behind us and they're all delighted with qualifying for a major championships because it's been too long. I think the job he's done has really given the country a massive lift."

The 72-year-old - who will travel to Kiev for Friday's Euro 2012 ahead of the tournament in Ukraine and Poland - said after the play-off success: "I have said I think we deserve a new agreement, Marco and myself. We are now happy with the squad. We find new players in almost every game.

"We have done what we were asked to do by the FAI and the Irish people. They chose us for this reason and I think we have given the perfect answer with qualification."

The Italian and his staff have previously taken two pay cuts with Ireland's financial difficulties biting hard, and there had been speculation that a significantly reduced package could be on the table.

PA

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