Michael O'Neill and Martin O'Neill share Irish managerial award

Michael O'Neill and Martin O'Neill share Irish managerial award

THE 2015 Philips Sports Manager of the Year has been jointly awarded to Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill.

Both managers guided their respective teams to qualification to Euro 2016 and were presented with their award at a ceremony in Dublin on Wednesday afternoon.

Martin O'Neill had already won the Philips Sports Manager of the Month award for November following the Republic’s play-off triumph over Bosnia & Herzegovina and he reflected on that campaign at the ceremony.

"I felt with four games left we were still in the group and I don't think it was really bravado. We had to win our games either at home to Germany or away to Poland but we knew it was possible," said Martin O'Neill.

"The players came through and they have been fantastic. For us to join Michael [O'Neill] is great. I must admit that I felt really envious of him enjoying himself [after qualifying] when we were still in the doldrums, but we were delighted to qualify."

Martin O'Neill becomes the fifth different Republic of Ireland manager to win the award following on from Jack Charlton, Mick McCarthy, Brian Kerr, and Giovanni Trapattoni.

The event, which has been running for 34 years, saw an attendance of the other managers who had won monthly awards this year, while Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, and Cel O'Reilly, Managing Director of Philips Ireland, presented the award to the two managers.