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Former Rovers trio join Ireland coaching staff

Keith Andrews, Damien Duff and Alan Kelly join Stephen Kenny's new-look management team

5 April 2020

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Three ex-Rovers players have joined the new-look Republic of Ireland backroom team.

After Stephen Kenny took over from outgoing manager Mick McCarthy yesterday, the Football Association of Ireland have now announced the appointment of coaches Keith Andrews, Damien Duff and Alan Kelly.

Andrews, who joined Rovers from MK Dons in August 2008 and went on to make 76 appearances for the club, follows new manager Kenny in making the step up from the Ireland Under-21s set-up.

Former fans favourite Duff, who scored 35 goals in 224 games for Rovers before being sold to Chelsea for £17m in July 2003, has gained coaching experience with Shamrock Rovers and Celtic, and will start his new role on August 1st.

Kelly, who arrived at Ewood Park from Sheffield United in July 1999 and went on to make 50 appearances between the sticks for the club, continues as goalkeeping coach, having previously held the role working with Steve Staunton, Giovanni Trapattoni and Mick McCarthy.

“The calibre of Stephen Kenny’s backroom team is top class and these are great additions to our senior team coaching staff,” said FAI Interim CEO Gary Owens.

“Keith and Damien served Ireland so well as players and their experience will be such an addition to our senior squad’s support team.

“Keith and Stephen have worked brilliantly together with the Under-21 squad and Damien, currently finishing his UEFA Pro Licence with the FAI’s Coach Education department, has impressed everyone with his coaching skills and his switch from world class player to coach.

“Alan knows international football inside out and was part of the squad at two World Cup finals. He is highly regarded as a coach with Premier League side Everton and has huge experience with Ireland.

"Together, Keith, Damien and Alan have so much to offer Stephen and his players as we look forward to the UEFA EURO 2020 play-offs, the Nations League and the World Cup qualifiers.”

Rovers defenders Darragh Lenihan and Derrick Williams will both hope to be included in Stephen Kenny’s first senior international squad, with a European Championship play-off semi-final away to Slovakia to look forward to when football resumes.

The winners of that tie will face either Northern Ireland or Bosnia & Herzegovina for a chance to join Spain, Sweden and Poland in Group E at next summer’s Euro 2021 finals.

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