Rene Gilmartin takes up goalke...

Sport

Rene Gilmartin takes up goalkeeping coach post with under-21s


The FAI has announced that Rene Gilmartin is to become the new Republic of Ireland Under-21 goalkeeping coach on a permanent basis. 

The Bristol City goalkeeper, who also coaches at the Ashton Gate club as well as being third-choice keeper, has now been confirmed as a permanent member of manager Stephen Kenny's under-21 staff.

The 32-year old former St Patrick's Athletic netminder has had an extensive Football League career with stints at Walsall, Colchester United, Watford and Plymouth Argyle.

The Dublin-born stopper, who was also capped at under-21 level for the Republic of Ireland had his first international camp with the group in September when Ireland secured victories against Armenia and Sweden.

Gilmartin was also named as the goalkeeper coach for the camp in October ahead of the games against Italy and Iceland, and he has admitted it is a fantastic honour to be given the job on a permanent basis.

"It's a massively proud moment for me," said Gilmartin. "I played for the Ireland U-21s when I was starting out at Walsall and now, to have the opportunity to coach the goalkeepers is perfect for me.

"We've got some fantastic talent coming through and it's been great to work with the likes of Caoimhin Kelleher, Gavin Bazunu and Conor Kearns during my time with the squad so far."

Gilmartin will link up with the squad this Sunday ahead of the trip to Armenia for the qualifier on Thursday, November 14 and the home game against Sweden on Tuesday, November 19.

Meanwhile, another player from Kenny's squad has been promoted to the senior squad ahead of the matches against New Zealand and Denmark.

Celtic defender Lee O'Connor, who is suspended for the Armenia game, has been given the chance to impress McCarthy and will join up with the senior players next Monday.



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