Gerard Lyttle appointed as NI’s U19 and U17 manager

The Irish Football Association has appointed Gerard Lyttle as the new manager of Northern Ireland’s Under-19 and Under-17 men’s teams.

The former Cliftonville and Sligo Rovers boss takes over the role after Diarmuid O'Carroll, who had initially been appointed in the position last Friday, had to withdraw from the process after making an "administrative error" in his application.

Lyttle, who was also previously in charge of Northern Ireland’s U16 team, steps up from the Irish FA JD Academy in collaboration with UEFA, based at Ulster University’s Jordanstown campus, where he was head coach.

The Belfast man will replace Stephen Frail as manager and is “very excited” at being given the opportunity.

Former Cliftonville boss Gerard Lyttle replaces Stephen Frail as manager of Northern Ireland’s U19s and U17s

“This was a job I thought about an awful lot over the course of the past year or so. It’s a natural progression from the job I currently have as head coach with the JD Academy and the U16 national squad," said Lyttle.

“There’s that often used saying when managers or players take a new job that they can’t wait to get started but I can honestly say that my work started when I was accepted for my first interview for this role last month.

“There’s no doubt that there is a lot of hard work ahead but this is something I’m used to and will never shy away from.”

His first task along with his backroom staff will be preparing the U19s for three UEFA U19 European Championship qualifiers in Sweden next month.

Northern Ireland senior men’s team manager Ian Baraclough welcomed the appointment. “Gerard is well known and respected throughout the game in Northern Ireland and knows the current group of players in these squads well having worked with them for two years,” he said.

“I’m really pleased for him and look forward to working with his staff closely to help develop this exciting crop of Northern Ireland talent.”

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