FAI ruling means Stuart Ashton can't manage Cobh in 2022

Directive from new FAI chief executive prevents staff working in League of Ireland roles next season
FAI ruling means Stuart Ashton can't manage Cobh in 2022

Stuart Ashton, Cobh Ramblers manager. Picture: Picture: Jim Coughlan.

A DIRECTIVE laid out by new FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill insisting the organisation will apply the full provisions of their coaching policy from next season will have a direct impact on Cobh Ramblers.

The development means that Cobh Ramblers manager Stuart Ashton wouldn't be allowed to remain in charge of the club in 2022, as he works for the FAI as a coordinator of the Cork Education Training Board course.

Announcing a transition phase for 2021, according to The Irish Examiner the new FAI chief executive Hill is reported to have told staff on Friday: “We all know now that, in principle as a practical example, there will be no FAI staff in manager or assistant manager roles in the LOI or WNL infrastructure for the 2022 season.” 

The FAI had a policy in relation to double-jobbing since the John Delaney era. But the new FAI regime claims the lack of implementation “caused lack of clarity, inequity, and exposure for staff to claims of conflict of interest”.

Ramblers continued their preparations ahead of the 2021 First Division season by taking on Premier Division opposition in Bohemians, in a behind closed doors pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Cobh meanwhile have added former Waterford attacker Regix Madika ahead of the start of the 2021 season.

The 20-year-old came through Waterford’s underage setup, making his first-team debut in 2019 and scoring for the Blues against Hearts in September of that year.

Madika has been training with Ramblers in pre-season but was unable to feature in the recent friendlies due to injury.

“He has been training with us. Unfortunately, he’s got an injury, but he will be back training in the next couple of weeks hopefully”, said Ramblers boss Stuart Ashton speaking earlier this week.

“He will be a part of the squad fighting for a position. From that point of view, we have got players in positions who know there are other fellas in the squad fighting for positions as well.

“Which is what we wanted from the start of this season. I think we have got a nice blend of youth and experience there.” 

On how the preparations have been going generally for the 2021 First Division campaign ahead, Ashton added: “We are just going through their fitness levels at this stage and just making sure that they are all fit.

“We have got one or two niggling injuries, which is the norm at this time of the year I suppose with fellas coming back in training.

“Hopefully they will all be cleared up in the next week or so. Obviously, we are looking forward to the season opener, which has an extra bit of spice to it with the local derby.”

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