Filippo Giovagnoli said he expects to be at Dundalk FC next season after revealing that talks were progressing on a long-term deal with the club.
Chairman Bill Hulsizer revealed in the wake of the club’s Europa League group stage qualification that the Italian would be offered the chance to succeed Vinny Perth full-time having initially only been handed a short-term deal under the end of the current campaign.
While nothing official has been announced as yet, Giovagnoli said he was calm about the situation and was working on a long-term project to improve the club from top to bottom.
“We are discussing things,” he said when asked about a longer term deal.
“We are really aligned with the club so at some point we’ll make this real and sign a paper but signing now is really secondary to what we’re discussing about the future of the club.
“I want to be here not only next year. I want to have a project for longer,” he said.
Asked how long this project would be, the 49-year-old said: “It’s impossible to think of the concept of a five year contract for me but the project for the club needs to be long like that.
“Once it gets up and running they can then hire other people or I can participate in the project. How long I’ll stay, I don’t know, but I’d love to be the one who starts to develop the strategy so that I can play a part in making this club consistently strong because Dundalk has a lot of potential.
“We can be good every year in Europe and the league. We need to stop thinking that Europe is historic but to do that we need to build a solid foundation with investment and then in four or five years Dundalk is going to be constantly there.
“That’s what you have to aim for because whether it be Filippo or Giuseppe, Stephen or Vinny, managers are going to rotate and players are going to come and leave but the town and the club is what is important. This is how I think of it.”
While not looking to reveal too much of his plans at this stage, Giovagnoli insisted that improving the club’s academy would be a key focus for him.
“Absolutely. It is key. Not only in Dundalk but everywhere,” he said.
“An academy is key to develop a club. I want to spend a lot of time on that, without doubt, and I feel I have the knowledge to improve it.”
Giovagnoli also said it would be up to his wife Maura whether they moved here next year or not.
“Right now the mission is these three months. I have to see what happens with the virus because my wife and son are back in Italy and my son is in school so I don’t want to disrupt his life because he is a kid who has travelled a lot in his life, which is good for experience but I also have to think of his health. At the moment he is happy there and he’s going to spend the next few months at school.
“I don’t know at this moment if he’ll come here next year to go to school. It’s their decision too. My wife will make that decision. I make the decisions on the pitch but the rest she controls,” he laughed.
“I really miss them but this makes me even stronger because I’m doing it for them and I have to be strong now,” he said.