World Cup star signs for The Town

New Town boss Mark Kinsella
New Town boss Mark Kinsella

FORMER Republic of Ireland international and 2002 World Cup star Mark Kinsella has been named as the new manager of Daventry Town.

The high-profile signing is seen by ambitious club chairman Iain Humphrey as a bold bid to widen the appeal of the Communications Park club.

But outgoing manager Ady Fuller said this week he was “gutted” at the decision and has declined to drop down to assistant.

Now his backroom staff of number two Paul Lamb, chief scout Jason Burnham and goalkeeping coach Derren Midson have also handed in their notices.

Once signed by Aston Villa for £1 million, Kinsella (38) won 48 caps for Ireland as a central midfield player and has recent coaching experience with Charlton Athletic.

Together with the legendary Roy Keane he masterminded the Republic’s progress to the World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea nine years ago.

As Daventry was once a Birmingham overspill town and has also become home to many former Essex families because of the Ford Motor Company connection, the Town chairman is hopeful that Kinsella’s appointment will help to swell attendances at Southern League matches next season.

Mr Humphrey said he would make known his reasons for the change of manager next week but the mobile phone magnate was clearly disappointed that last season’s attendances failed to average 150 despite Daventry Town reaching the Southern League play-offs final.

When Birmingham-based Kinsella takes his first training session at Communications Park he will bring in fresh blood while also needing to persuade some of last season’s better players they still have future with the Central Division club.

Dubliner Kinsella brings with him an impressive curriculum vitae which includes seven years at Colchester United before moving on to higher things with Charlton Athletic, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Walsall not to mention a lengthy international career.

As a teenager he helped Colchester to win the FA Trophy final at Wembley before joining Charlton in 1996 for a transfer fee of £150,000. He then captained the side which beat Sunderland in the First Division play-off final two years later.

The Division One title followed after a season in the top-flight but Kinsella moved on to Villa for a seven-figure sum on losing a regular first team place to Scott Parker.

Injury curtailed his progress and a brief interlude at West Brom preceded a two-year deal at Walsall where he carried out coaching duties and was also caretaker manager at one stage.

At Charlton he was both coach and Alan Pardew’s assistant manager before new boss Phil Parkinson and he were both shown the door at The Valley in 2008. Now Kinsella is keen to get back into football in a hands on capacity.

His appointment represents one of the biggest eye-catchers at semi-professional level since current United Counties League champions St Neots Town appointed ex-Northern Ireland international Steve Lomas a couple of years ago.