‘Irish leagues should unite’ - says French coach Raymond Domenech

Raymond Domenech, the former manager of the French national team, coaches Derry City U-17 and U-19 players at the Brandywell earlier this week.  DER1518GS018
Raymond Domenech, the former manager of the French national team, coaches Derry City U-17 and U-19 players at the Brandywell earlier this week. DER1518GS018

RAYMOND Domenech believes Irish football won’t fulfil its potential unless football teams unite with their Scottish and English neighbours.

Indeed, the former French international coach reckons the best way for teams in both the Irish League and League of Ireland to progress is to be playing against their counterparts in the UK on a weekly basis.

Commenting during a trip to Derry where he took training sessions with Derry City’s under-17 and under-19 squads in his role as President of the National Union of French Coaches (UNECATEF), Domenech, who led Les Bleus to the 2006 World Cup Final, suggested the FAI and IFA join a ‘federation’ of football teams for the overall benefit of Irish football.

“For me it’s a pity the teams in Ireland, Scotland don’t play with teams in England,” he said. “You have to make a Federation and division with the best Irish, Scottish and English clubs if you want to grow.

“If you want to have good clubs you have to play with the best clubs.”

And the experienced French coach believes a unification of the leagues will enable Irish clubs to keep hold of their best players and provide higher quality competitive football for home based footballers.

“And then you can keep the best players. All the best Irish players are playing in English clubs. So to have good Irish football I think they must unite with the other leagues.”