John Caulfield: Kenny is able for top job

John Caulfield: Kenny is able for top job

Cork City and Dundalk managers John Caulfield and Stephen Kenny shake hands at the end of the FAI Cup final at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin back in 2015. Picture: INPHO/Donall Farmer

CORK CITY manager John Caulfield believes that Stephen Kenny is capable enough to have been given the Republic of Ireland senior job now — but he doesn’t believe that Dundalk will be any weaker as a result of his departure.

Kenny has been appointed as the U21 manager with the stipulation that he will take over from Mick McCarthy in 2020.

While Caulfield has issues with how the FAI run the League of Ireland, he feels that this is a positive step.

“Regarding Stephen getting the job, why shouldn’t he?” he said.

“He’s more qualified than most people, he has managed in Europe whereas a lot of managers haven’t.

“Should he have got it [the senior job] straight off?

“Personally, I think maybe he should have, maybe they weren’t confident he could do it straight away, I don’t know.

“At least it was a positive news story from our league and maybe it might give the league more exposure and show that there are good players, there are good managers and bring investment to make it a proper, professional league.”

Kenny’s assistant Vinny Perth is rumoured to be in line to take charge of Dundalk, though he wouldn’t be able to be called the manager as he doesn’t hold the requisite coaching badges.

Nevertheless, whoever is in the dugout for the Lilywhites next season will be in a strong position, Caulfield feels.

“The way I look at it is that they retained all their players,” he said.

“They’ve 18 players re-signed that won the double, so whoever gets that job is going in with financially the biggest backers in the country, playing Champions League football.

“It’s a dream job, because they’re the team to beat.

“We’ve lost six or seven players and we’ve had to restructure, we work in a different financial situation.

“Shamrock Rovers maybe might see this as a big opportunity for themselves, we just have to get back and do what we’ve been doing year in and year out.

“Whoever goes into Dundalk will be a lucky guy, because he takes over an incredible team.

“All I know is that we’ve been very close, last year again.

“We have to see if we can still compete.”

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