Watch | New Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny looking forward to the challenge

Longford Leader reporter

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Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has spoken about his excitement of finalising his backroom team, and has also paid tribute to his predecessor Mick McCarthy.

In his first interview since replacing McCarthy as manager of the Senior Men's team, Kenny said an "unprecedented" year awaits his side.

"You've got the EURO Play-Off against Slovakia of course. We've got six games in the Nations League and also World Cup Qualifiers to come," Kenny told FAI TV.

Keith Andrews, Damien Duff and Alan Kelly were all confirmed earlier today as Kenny's coaching team, and he is delighted they have come on board.

Having worked with Andrews with the Under-21s, Kenny cited the "great rapport" between the two. He also singled out Damien Duff's "very high work ethic", and said he was "delighted" to have Alan Kelly doing the set-up, having previously worked with Stephen Staunton, Giovanni Trapattoni and Mick McCarthy.

With no international football to come until the Autumn, Kenny hopes the fans can "look forward in a sporting context, to what is a magnificent year of football in the AVIVA Stadium over the forthcoming year."

Kenny also paid tribute to his predecessor Mick McCarthy, whose second spell as Ireland manger ended on Saturday.

"Mick has had a tremendous career as captain of Ireland and as manager on two occasions. He leaves a legacy behind him and it's just unfortunate with the cancellation of matches, it's been an unfortunate situation. He's revered in Ireland."