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New Ireland boss Heimir Hallgrímsson. Alamy Stock Photo
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Heimir Hallgrímsson confirmed as new Republic of Ireland manager

The former Iceland and Jamaica boss will take charge of his first game against England on 7 September.

LAST UPDATE | 10 Jul

HEIMIR HALLGRIMSSON HAS been confirmed as the Republic of Ireland senior men’s team manager.

The former Iceland boss, who led them to qualification for the 2018 World Cup, was most recently in charge of Jamaica for the past two years and has signed a deal for the upcoming Nations League and 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Hallgrímsson left his role with Jamaica after defeats to Mexico, Ecuador and Venezuela in the group stages of this summer’s Copa America.

He will be unveiled at a press conference at Aviva Stadium tomorrow and will take charge of his first match in the same venue when Ireland’s kick off the Nations League against England on 7 September.

Hallgrímsson was also joint manager of his native country with Lars Lagerbäck when they reached Euro 2016, famously beating England in the round of 16 to reach the quarter finals.

FAI director of football Marc Canham says Hallgrímsson was identified as the number one target “earlier this year” and cited his “track record of qualifying for major international tournaments and taking teams up the FIFA World rankings” as key to his appointment.

While Canham also praised the work of former interim boss John O’Shea for “preparing the team impeccably, creating a brilliant environment for the players and achieving positive results on the pitch,” it is Hallgrímsson whose appointment was ratified by the FAI board after being put forward by Canham.

“Ireland is rightly a proud footballing nation which has consistently produced talented players and enjoyed many memorable moments at major international tournaments,” the new manager said.

“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.”

Canham added: “[He was the] candidate whose capabilities and experience aligned with our criteria. Not only does Heimir have significant experience at international level with two different countries, but crucially he also has a track record of qualifying for major international tournaments and taking teams up the FIFA World rankings.

“It was also important for us that we recruited a Head Coach who is interested in the overall development of football in Ireland as outlined in the FAI’s football pathways plan and in particular someone who is interested in the development of our underage international teams both of which Heimir is hugely passionate about.”

David Courell, the interim chief executive, hailed the appointment as a “significant day for Irish football” and was on the recruitment panel along with Canham, Packie Bonner, People & Culture Director Aoife Rafferty and FAI President Paul Cooke.

“When I met Heimir, I was I extremely impressed by his level of professionalism, experience, integrity, and deep knowledge of the game,” Cooke said.

“I would like to thank my fellow members of the recruitment panel, David Courell, Aoife Rafferty, Packie Bonner and in particular our Director of Football Marc Canham who collectively ran a very thorough and confidential process which was respectful of the candidates involved and which identified and secured the standout candidate.”

Written by David Sneyd and originally published on The 42 whose award-winning team produces original content that you won’t find anywhere else: on GAA, League of Ireland, women’s sport and boxing, as well as our game-changing rugby coverage, all with an Irish eye. Subscribe here.

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