Cudicini to coach Ireland Under-21s

The former Chelsea and Tottenham shot-stopper has replaced Alan O'Neill as goalkeeping coach for the Boys in Green's youth side, who will face Andorra on Thursday
The Football Association of Ireland have confirmed the appointment of Carlo Cudicini as goalkeeping coach for the Republic of Ireland Under-21 side.

The former Chelsea goalkeeper will step into the role vacated by the retiring Alan O'Neill and is in place ahead of the Euro U21 Championship qualifier against Andorra on Thursday.

And Ireland U21 boss Noel King says he is looking forward to working with the Italian.

"Carlo Cudicini is coming in to the do the goalkeepers initially," King told the FAI's official website. "We’ll see how it goes and work together to try and win the game obviously."

The 41-year-old hung up his gloves in 2013 after ending his playing career with LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer, and previously spent time at AC Milan, Lazio, and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Chelsea.

Cudicini earned his Uefa B Coaching Licence while studying with the FAI in Ireland, and King feels his young side will benefit from the Italian's knowledge.

"His experience will be a great help to us," he added. "It won’t be just goalkeeping – we’ll include him as we do with all our staff in the preparation. We’ll value his views and hopefully that’ll add strength to us.

"We’re thankful to Alan O’Neill who has been with us and the association for a great number of years and has been a great servant. He has to move on due to work commitments and we’ll look forward to a successful time with Carlo."