Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny has spoken for the first time since Martin O'Neill left his post as Republic of Ireland boss, admitting the role would be the 'ultimate honour'.

Speaking to the Dundalk Democrat at a presentation at SOSAD in Dundalk today, the double-winning Dundalk boss said he had no particular strategy as the race to replace O'Neill heats up.

Kenny is the preferred candidate of many pundits who would like to see a long-term focus on youth development and a greater role for the domestic game, but Mick McCarthy is tipped by many to return to a role he held from 1996 to 2002.

"I don't have PR strategy", he told the Dundalk Democrat, "I don't have a dream team. I think, ultimately I'm a football coach and I have great respect for all the players at Dundalk and for everyone connected to the club."

However it is clear Kenny would jump at the chance to manage his country, saying the job would be more desirable than managing one of the Spanish superclubs.

"I think managing your country is the ultimate honour. If you offered me the job of managing Real Madrid or Barcelona or Ireland, I would choose to manage Ireland, because it's the greatest honour you can have as an Irishman."