O'Neill signs contract extension with the North

Fri, Feb 09 2018

Michael O'Neill has signed a new four year deal with Northern Ireland Credit: Al Robinson


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Current Northern Ireland senior men’s international manager Michael O’Neill has signed a contract extension which will see him continue in his current role until 2024.


As part of his new contract O’Neill has also been appointed Chief Football Officer meaning he will oversee the development of the game in Northern Ireland and the IFA’s elite performance pathway.


“I am extremely proud to manage my country and I am pleased to be extending my time in charge of the senior team,” the Armagh native said in a statement released by the Irish FA today.


“In recent months I have been approached about taking other opportunities in football. However, no other challenge attracted me as much as taking Northern Ireland back to a major tournament.


“While that will be my main aim, I am also excited about my new role as Chief Football Officer and of having hands-on involvement in shaping our football development programmes and elite performance pathways.


“I would like to thank the Irish FA for the belief that they have shown in me by granting this contract extension and for the fans for their ongoing support of me and of the Northern Ireland senior men’s international team.”


The former Shamrock Rovers boss led Northern Ireland to its first major tournament in 30 years when his side got as far as the last 16 during UEFA Euro 2016— only exiting the competition after a narrow 1-0 loss to Wales.


The 48 year old came close to bringing Northern Ireland to their first World Cup since 1986 when they finished second in their qualifying group behind current world champions Germany. Northern Ireland faced Switzerland in the playoffs but a controversial first-leg penalty for the Swiss denied them passage to the finals in Russia.


O’Neill will experience a homecoming of sorts when his side face the Republic of Ireland in the Aviva Stadium this coming November after a friendly between the two teams was announced earlier this week.