Lee Carsley – The Backroom Team

With it looking increasingly likely that Lee Carsley will be appointed as the new Ireland Manager within a matter of days, we profile some of the names who could be part of his backroom team.

Ashley Cole

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Considered as one of the best left backs of all time, Cole began his career at Arsenal going on to make 228 appearances. With Arsenal he won two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and was an integral part of the “Invincibles” team which went the entire league season undefeated in 2003-2004. He moved to London rivals Chelsea winning one Premier League, four FA Cups, one League Cup and one UEFA Champions League. As an England international Cole won 107 caps making him England’s most capped full back. After playing spells at Roma and LA Galaxy, Cole became a coach under Frank Lampard at Derby County after a brief period as a player at the club, and later followed Lampard to Chelsea where he became an academy coach. In July 2021 he was named as Assistant Coach of the England under 21’s under Lee Carsley. In February 2022 Cole joined Everton as first-team coach (leaving in January 2023 when Lampard was sacked). Cole is currently first team coach of Birmingham City.

Steven Reid

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Currently first team coach at Nottingham Forest, Reid was capped 23 times for Ireland (captaining the boys in green on one occasion). He began his playing career with Millwall in 1998, making 139 appearances for the Lions and scoring 18 goals. In 2003 he moved to Blackburn Rovers. After a brief loan spell at QPR, Reid joined West Bromwich Albion before retiring from playing in 2015 after a season with Burnley. After hanging up his boots Reid was appointed as first team coach of Reading. Then followed a first team coaching role at Crystal Palace and a brief spell at AFC Wimbledon. After working for West Brom, Reid joined Steve Clarke’s backroom staff with the Scotland national team. In August 2001 Reid became first team coach at Nottingham Forest. A year later he left to pursue a career as a counsellor, before returning to Forest as first team coach in July 2023.

Brian Barry-Murphy

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A former Ireland under-21 international player, Brian Barry-Murphy played as a defensive midfielder. He began his career at Cork City before spells at Preston North End, Southend, and Hartlepool (on loan), Sheffield Wednesday, Bury and Rochdale. Barry-Murphy was appointed Rochdale’s caretaker manager in March 2019 (after Manager Keith Hill resigned). Since 2021 he has managed the Manchester City Elite Development squad.

James McFadden

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McFadden started his career with Motherwell, making 63 appearances and scoring 26 goals. In 2003 Everton signed McFadden for £1.25 million. In his time with the Toffees McFadden played 109 games and scored 11 goals. He then moved to Birmingham City, winning the League Cup during his time with the club. There then followed another spell at Everton, Motherwell (twice), St Johnstone and Queen of the South. McFadden played 48 times in total for Scotland. His 15 goals included the famous winner against France in a European Championship qualifier in Paris in September 2007. As a coach McFadden was part of Alex McLeish’s coaching team for his second period in charge of his country.

Kevin O’Connor

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A one club man, Kevin O’Connor made over 500 appearances for Brentford and is fourth on their all-time appearances list. He captained the club on over 200 occasions and was inducted into the Brentford Hall of fame in 2015. O’Connor made six appearances for the Republic of Ireland under-21’s, making his debut in a 1-1 draw against Georgia in March 2003. Shortly after retiring as a player, O’Connor was announced as Brentford’s Development Squad assistant coach, working under Lee Carsley. He then took over from Carsley as Head Coach, before progressing to the role of Brentford B head coach. In December 2018 he as named as assistant first team coach of the Brentford first team, working under head coach Thomas Frank.

Tim Dittmer

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Dittmer was a goalkeeper who came through Liverpool’s academy, played at underage level for Ireland and went on to play 150 games for Vauxhall Motors in the Conference and Conference North. Dittmer also played for Marine and then for Bradford as player/coach before moving on to Manchester City as goalkeeping coach. He joined the FA in 2013 and has worked with the England under 20’s and under 21’s. He is currently Head of Coaching at the FA and is considered an innovator who is highly thought of within the association.

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