McDonagh in Malahide today with Keane in the background. Credit: INPHO/Donall Farmer
ALONGSIDE MARTIN O’NEILL and Roy Keane this morning was a face many will not have recognised.
While two men mooted to be joining the management team, Steve Walford and Steve Guppy, have yet to be confirmed, Seamus ‘Jim’ McDonagh was on Friday announced as Ireland’s new goalkeeping coach — replacing Alan Kelly after eight years in the role.
McDonagh is a trusted ally of O’Neill’s and the pair have worked together at Leicester City, Aston Villa and Sunderland in the past.
During his playing career, the English-born goalkeeper represented his hometown club Rotherham United for six years before lining out for Bolton Wanderers, Everton and Notts County and several others.
He also held the position of player/manager at Galway United for six months during the 1989/90 season.
McDonagh and David O’Leary during the France game in 1981. Credit: INPHO/Billy Stickland
McDonagh was cappped 25 times for Ireland but perhaps the most famous game he featured in for the Boys and Green was the 3-2 win over France in 1981.
Against a team captained by Michel Platini, Eoin Hand’s side earned victory in front of 55,000 fans at Lansdowne Road with goals from Frank Stapleton, Michael Robinson and a Phillippe Mahut O.G.
The French pulled themselves back into the match but McDonagh made a terrific stop late on to ensure the victory.
“It was the biggest game of my life,” McDonagh told RTE’s Damien O’Meara. “The build-up in Dublin was amazing. I remember being so nervous on the day. I just wanted to get out and play.
You just felt that it was going to be our day if we set off right, which we did. Eoin told us to go at them and before we knew it we were 3-1 up.
“They had a world class player like Platini who was getting it and spraying it all over. They scored a second to make it 3-2 but we were deserved winners.”
Watch highlights of that game below:
YouTube credit: FatherTed2006