The Limerick priest who gave Big Sam his first job is absolutely delighted he's the new England manager

Father Joe Young spoke to the BBC ahead of Allardyce's appointment

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Picture by: S&G / S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport

Sam Allardyce is set to be named as England's new manager on Thursday afternoon.

The 61-year-old began his managerial career, 25 years ago when he became player-manager of Limerick FC, guiding them to the First Division title.

Father Joe Young was Chairman of the club at the time, and he spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live on Wednesday night to talk about Big Sam's appointment. 

"I'm absolutely delighted. It's a great moment in my priesthood", the priest told presenter Mark Chapman.

"All I can say to you is one thing. He believed in the Field of Dreams. He was a purpose-driven manager. I never experienced so much joy in the fact that he believed if you don't bring them through with discipline, forget about it. He was brilliant and a maestro".

"What he believed in, in what we were trying to do in Limerick and help young people come through the welfare system... He believed in it, and I believe in Sam."

Father Young added that the current Sunderland manager has been in his prayers in recent days, and he hoped some divine intervention would get him the England job. "I said mass for him this morning, and I'll say mass for him tomorrow morning. God bless him, because he is wonderful."

The Limerick-based priest compared Allardyce's arrival in Limerick to picking a horse the the Grand National.

"When I got a list of possible managers that we could maybe get, it was like putting a pen on a paper, with my dad for the Grand National. It was Sam Allardyce. I believed in Big Sam."

Allardyce is expected to be given a two-year contract by England to lead them into the 2018 World Cup in Russia.