Monday, July 22, 2024

Heimir Hallgrímsson succeeds Stephen Kenny as Ireland head coach

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The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has appointed Heimir Hallgrímsson as the new head coach of its men’s team.

Hallgrímsson, the former Iceland and Jamaica manager, takes over as the permanent head coach after Stephen Kenny’s contract was not renewed last year. John O’Shea had served as interim manager in the intervening period. The 57-year-old’s first game in charge will be against England on September 7th.

The appointment brings to an end a long-running saga which saw a multitude of names linked to the position since Kenny vacated the role in November. Initially, former Ireland international and current England under-21s boss Lee Carsley was the favourite.

When Carsley ruled himself out of the running, Neil Lennon, Chris Coleman, Chris Hughton, former Greece boss Gus Poyet and Georgia manager Willy Sagnol were all listed as potential options.

“It is an honour to be appointed today,” said Hallgrímsson. “Ireland is rightly a proud footballing nation which has consistently produced talented players and enjoyed many memorable moments at major international tournaments.

“We have a young and exciting team that has genuine potential. I am looking forward to working closely with the players to help coach and guide them towards improved performances and results ensuring we qualify and compete at major tournaments on a regular basis.

“We have important and exciting games coming up in the Uefa Nations League later this year and a massive Fifa World Cup qualification campaign coming up next year.

“Finally, I am also looking forward to getting to know the people of Ireland and in particular the wonderful fans of Irish football. It is my responsibility to coach, prepare and develop our team as best as possible to deliver results on the pitch and to make our supporters happy and proud.”

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