Ian Baraclough signs new Northern Ireland deal

Baraclough initially took on the role in June 2020 after Michael O’Neill stepped down.

Pa Sport Staff
Wednesday 15 December 2021 16:39
Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough is set to stay on to prepare towards Euro 2024 (Brian Lawless/PA)
Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough is set to stay on to prepare towards Euro 2024 (Brian Lawless/PA)

Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough has signed a two-year contract extension, the Irish Football Association has announced.

Baraclough initially signed an 18-month contract when he took on the role in June 2020 after Michael O’Neill stepped down.

The new deal will see Baraclough in charge for the 2022-23 Nations League campaign as well as Euro 2024 qualifiers, with an extension included should Northern Ireland reach the finals in Germany.

The 51-year-old said on www.irishfa.com: “I am really happy to have signed this contract. We have a great mix of youth and experience and, coupled with my backroom team, I feel we can continue to grow and develop as a group.

“I want to thank the Irish FA for backing me and the Northern Ireland fans for doing likewise.

“Those games behind closed doors during the height of the Covid pandemic, both home and away, were harder without them.

“Having them back in numbers puts a spring in everyone’s step and I want to acknowledge their support and I hope that more good times are on the horizon.”

Reading goalkeeper Luke Southwood is among those to have been called up into the senior squad on Ian Baraclough’s watch (David Davies/PA)

Although Northern Ireland failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar finishing third in Group C behind Switzerland and Italy, Baraclough has made notable progress in integrating new players into the squad with an eye on the future.

Reading goalkeeper Luke Southwood and 17-year-old Nottingham Forest striker Dale Taylor were among those to earn their first call-ups during the last campaign.

The Irish FA had unanimously voted to open talks on a new deal for Baraclough and are looking forward to continuing their partnership.

“The Irish FA Board gave its full backing and I’m delighted we have again secured Ian’s services,” said Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson.

“He is the right man to navigate the challenges ahead as well as being a great ambassador for the organisation.”

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