Italian Filippo Giovagnoli, the shock successor to departed Dundalk boss Vinny Perth, has described his new role as a “kamikaze mission” and urged friends to “pray” for him.
The news that Giovagnoli is set to arrive on a short-term deal has left players and staff at the League of Ireland champions scratching their heads.
He will be assisted in his first senior management role by his compatriot Giuseppe Rossi with the duo having worked together at a New York junior soccer academy.
Giovagnoli (49) spent his playing career in the Italian lower leagues, but coaching commitments have taken him to America where he worked for AC Milan on their summer camps.
In 2014, he was appointed director of coaching for Metropolitan Oval, an academy that is affiliated with MLS side New York City FC. It’s understood that Dundalk’s principal owners, Peak6, have a good relationship with the company that runs the academy.
However, Giovagnoli’s appointment also appears to have surprised the man himself and his football network in the US.