CORK representative Gerry McAnaney believes it would be an honour if he was to be named the new President of the Football Association of Ireland.
McAnaney and Sligo Rovers chairman Martin Heraghty will contest the election for Presidency of the FAI – succeeding the outgoing Donal Conway - at their EGM this Saturday in Blanchardstown.
The former College Corinthians, Cobh Ramblers and Cork City player has been nominated by City following his years of service on the FAI Council, his work with the Irish Defence Forces and currently with Football for All. He would assume the role at a critical time for the association as the fallout from John Delaney's departure as CEO continues to damage the brand and the game nationwide.
“It would be a great honour to be the President of the national association,” McAnaney told the Echo.
“But it’s not about the person, it’s about the group. We need somebody to go in there, help steady the ship and gain people’s confidence back.
“It would be a great personal honour but I would get more satisfaction out of it if I was able to go in and help turn things around.
“I have been involved for 40 plus years across all elements of Irish football from schoolboys all the way through to League of Ireland and International football.
“In the short term what I would hope to achieve is to get stability back in the organisation, gain the confidence of the grassroots, supporters and stakeholders.
“We have to gain people’s trust and it would be my job to explain to people where we are at, why we need volunteers and why we need fresh blood.
“The association needs to change, we have to have structured change and get the right people.
“Clubs and leagues are struggling for volunteers in an atmosphere where football at all levels is still flourishing so we need a fresh impetus.
“Especially with the recent appointment of independent directors and new CEO which has given a shot in the arm to football, grassroots and stakeholders to see that people of this quality are willing to invest their time in our game at this difficult period.
“It’s a big ask but I feel I would have the skillset to impart our message across all parts of the football community as it has been part of my DNA all my life.”
Leesider Tony Fitzgerald was the FAI president for a five-year stint since 2014.