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Lee Carsley rules out taking Republic of Ireland job



England Under-21 manager Lee Carsley has spoken for the first time about a discussion he had with the FAI about succeeding Stephen Kenny as the Republic of Ireland head coach.

“We had an initial conversation in November,” Carsley told The Daily Mail. “I went to speak to them. Really informal, enjoyable, for around an hour. It went no further.

“It was good to see what their thoughts were and to explore whether I was ready to take that next step. It just went no further. I didn’t push it.”

The FAI recruitment team is headed by chief executive Jonathan Hill, director of football Marc Canham and board director Packie Bonner.

Carsley was believed to be the FAI’s number one target but the former Ireland and Everton midfielder is committed to remaining on the English FA payroll despite his stock rising considerably after leading England to the under-21 European Championships title in 2023.

“I’ve always said that I’m really privileged to do this job I’m in,” Carsley continued. “I appreciate that I’m in a really good position with a lot of responsibility.

“There was a feeling that I would go and do a senior job after the summer but speaking to John McDermott [FA technical director] and other people, I’m committed to this campaign.

“At some point, maybe [being a club or international manager] is something I’ll do. I didn’t need convincing [to stay with England]. I see myself as a development coach. I’ve not put myself out there, applying for jobs or anything. I definitely wouldn’t go down that route with the position I’m in and how lucky I am.”

Canham and Hill will unveil a new Ireland men’s head coach after the upcoming friendlies against Belgium on Saturday and Switzerland next Tuesday, both at the Aviva stadium.

Hill was present this morning as interim Ireland manager John O’Shea’s spoke to the media in Castleknock hotel but he did not take questions on a new Sky sponsorship deal that was announced minutes before an O’Shea and Séamus Coleman press conference began.

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