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On the way up or out ... winners and losers in new era for Irish football

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David McGoldrick: Don't expect Kenny to cast him aside just yet but he's by no means a certain starter either. Photo: SPORTSFILE

David McGoldrick: Don't expect Kenny to cast him aside just yet but he's by no means a certain starter either. Photo: SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

David McGoldrick: Don't expect Kenny to cast him aside just yet but he's by no means a certain starter either. Photo: SPORTSFILE

WINNERS

Keith Andrews

When the succession plan was announced, Andrews was making his name in the media world despite positive reports of his coaching prowess with MK Dons and the Irish underage teams. He had clashed with Martin O'Neill over comments he made in the aftermath of the World Cup play-off defeat to Denmark. But the exit of O'Neill changed things for Andrews. He didn't know Stephen Kenny but they quickly struck up a solid working relationship with the Irish U-21s and there was never any doubt that he would be moving up with his fellow Dubliner when the time came.

Matt Doherty

The Wolves star endured a frustrating time under Mick McCarthy, although it was nothing compared to his struggles with Martin O'Neill. McCarthy brought Doherty to England and rates him highly but he stuck with captain Seamus Coleman at right-back and abandoned the idea of trying Doherty on the right wing following his struggles in the wind in Gibraltar. Kenny likes attacking full-backs and Doherty is a certainty for a prominent role.

Adam Idah

Kenny has a range of attacking talents to choose from and Troy Parrott and Aaron Connolly will always be wondering what the transition means for them. Idah is yet to figure in a senior squad but that should change before the year is out. The incoming boss likes a good all-rounder in the No 9 role with attacking wingers playing off him and the powerful and speedy Idah ticks the boxes.

Jayson Molumby

There was a lovely moment during Kenny's first U-21 match in charge when he grabbed Molumby as he was substituted, turned to the crowd and shouted about how brilliant the Brighton player had been. Molumby had recovered from a long-term injury and was only taking baby steps back but the Waterford man has grown in the space of a year. He's gained extensive Championship experience at Millwall, earned a new deal at Brighton and knows that the next senior manager admires the combative box-to-box service he offers.

 

LOSERS

Robbie Keane

For all that his lucrative contract leaves him in a favourable bargaining position with the FAI, Keane has made plenty of money across the course of his career and it was clearly a difficult weekend for Ireland's record goalscorer. Given the new FAI's desire to make all the right moves, it seems to be an oversight that Keane found himself in the dark while his role in the Irish set-up was filled.

Glenn Whelan

Whelan is set to be a victim of timing as much as Mick McCarthy's exit. Bringing the veteran out of retirement turned out to be a good move by the outgoing boss, with Whelan probably the most consistent midfielder across the course of the qualifying campaign. Five months down the line, he's likely to find himself pushed out by young blood.

David McGoldrick

After a stop-start Irish career, McCarthy's arrival coincided with McGoldrick's resurgence at Sheffield United. They had a working relationship at Ipswich but McGoldrick was fitter in the last year than he was at any stage at Portman Road and that showed in his performances. Don't expect Kenny to cast him aside just yet but he's by no means a certain starter either.

James Collins

The Luton attacker may have work to do to add to the four caps he earned during McCarthy's final months in the job. He is good around the area but wouldn't be regarded as especially mobile and the suspicion is that Kenny will favour more dynamic players in that area of the pitch. It is also anticipated that Shane Long's skill-set will lead to his recall so Collins may possibly be squeezed out with the young guns coming through as well.