Monday, July 22, 2024

Heimir Hallgrimsson: FAI says ex-Iceland boss became preferred candidate in March

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Heimir Hallgrimsson was identified in March as the man to be the next Republic of Ireland manager, the Football Association of Ireland has said.

After a protracted eight-month search for a successor to Stephen Kenny, the former Iceland manager was a surprise appointment on Wednesday.

Hallgrimsson, who was joint-head coach of his native country when they stunned England at Euro 2016, was officially introduced as the new manager on Thursday.

The ex-Iceland boss stepped down as Jamaica manager last week after a two-year stint in charge following their exit at Copa America.

FAI director of football Marc Canham said that the governing body made initial contact with Hallgrimsson “at the back end of last year”.

“We identified Heimir as a candidate and had an initial conversation with him in a very informal way, and we did the same with other candidates at that point,” said Canham.

“In March our selection panel decided that Heimir was our number one candidate. He was the person we wanted for the role.”

Canham added that with Hallgrimsson “committed” to Jamaica until the completion of their Copa America involvement, the FAI was happy to “wait for him to become available”.

“For Irish football for the selection panel, all of our key focus it was always about getting the right person. That was fundamental to the whole process the whole time,” added the FAI director of football.

More to follow.

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