King appointed as Ireland interim boss

Alan Foley

Reporter:

Alan Foley

King appointed as Ireland interim boss
Former Finn Harps manager Noel King has been named as the interim manager of the Republic of Ireland.

Former Finn Harps manager Noel King has been named as the interim manager of the Republic of Ireland.

The Dubliner was manager of Harps for the final third of the 2003 season and six matches of 2004.

He left the club due to mutual consent, citing the long distance commute from the capital as the main stumbling block.

The highlight of King’s brief spell in Ballybofey was the climatic promotion-relegation play-off between Harps and Derry City in 2003.

The sides drew 0-0 at Finn Park before Derry controversially won a tempestuous second leg 2-1 after extra-time in the Brandywell.

A belter from Kevin McHugh in the fourth minute of time added on had spectacularly cancelled out Mark Farren’s opener before Liam Coyle scored a 101st minute winner.

King believed the free-kick in the lead-up to the goal was taken from the wrong place and was sent to the stand by referee Alan Kelly.

Half-a-dozen fixtures into the 2004 campaign, King parted company with the club and was replaced, firstly Sean McGowan in the role of caretaker, by Felix Healy.

Harps went onto win the First Division for the only time in their history.

Fifty-six-year-old King has managed Derry City, Shamrock Rovers, Limerick and the Irish women’s team before taking over the U-21’s in 2010.

The FAI and Giovanni Trapattoni parted company earlier this month following Ireland’s 1-0 loss to Austria in Vienna. King is now likely to take charge of the final two qualifiers, against Germany and Kazakhstan, next month.

The FAI have appointed Ray Houghton and high performance director Ruud Dokter, along with King, to find the new manager.

Former Celtic and Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill is favourite to land the job but has yet to be approached.