Ian Baraclough has been appointed as the new manager of the Northern Ireland senior men’s team.
Baraclough, who has put pen to paper on an 18-month contract, is set to lead Northern Ireland into a packed calendar of games including UEFA Nations League, the UEFA Euro 2020 play-off semi-final away to Bosnia-Herzegovina, UEFA Euro 2020 - should Northern Ireland qualify - and the next FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.
He has spent the past three years as Northern Ireland Under-21 manager, nurturing a long list of talented young players – many of whom have graduated to the full international panel.
The new Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough said: “I was delighted to be linked to the job. To ultimately accept the role as the new Northern Ireland manager is an honour and a privilege. I couldn’t be more energised and excited to get going.”
Irish FA president David Martin said: “On behalf of everyone connected to the Irish FA, we wish Ian the warmest of welcomes and look forward to him being a key part of our team.”
Irish FA chief executive officer Patrick Nelson added: “I’m delighted to welcome Ian as our senior men’s team manager. He will help us build on recent success but also kickstart an exciting new era for the men’s senior team and the association. We hope to hit the ground running in his first competitive fixture this September versus Romania in the UEFA Nations League.”
In 2018, Baraclough led the Northern Ireland U21 squad to impressive victories away to Spain and Iceland. The team finished second in their qualifying group for the 2019 Euro Under-21 Championships, narrowly missing out on a play-off place.
The 49-year-old had a 20-year playing career which saw him represent, among others, Queens Park Rangers, Notts County and Scunthorpe United. He moved into management in 2010, taking up the reins at Scunthorpe where he spent a season in League One.
In 2012 he was appointed manager of Sligo Rovers and quickly brought success to the west of Ireland club. He led Rovers to the league title in his first season at the helm, their first in 35 years. He also lifted the FAI Cup and the Setanta Cup in his two-year spell in charge.
He worked as a scout for Huddersfield having left Sligo in 2014 before moving to Scotland to manage Motherwell. He kept the Fir Park club in the Premiership after a play-off win over Rangers.