Staying put: Eileen Gleeson has been appointed as Ireland WNT head coach on a permanent basis. INPHO

Eileen Gleeson appointed as Ireland WNT head coach

Dubliner appointed on a permanent basis following 100% campaign as interim head coach.

EILEEN GLEESON HAS been appointed as the permanent head coach of the Republic of Ireland women’s national team.

Gleeson, who took charge on an interim basis in the wake of Vera Pauw’s departure, was described by the FAI as “the outstanding candidate” after a worldwide process to find Pauw’s successor.

The 51-year-old Dubliner, who was previously Pauw’s assistant coach and the FAI’s Head of Women’s and Girls Football, oversaw a successful Uefa Nations League campaign, securing promotion to League A with six wins from six against Northern Ireland, Hungary and Albania.

As the wins racked up and positive momentum gathered, she was continually coy on her candidacy and never fully ruled it out, although FAI Director of Football Marc Canham said in October that she did not wish to be considered for the full-time role.

But discussions were ongoing in the background, with Canham confirming today that the former Peamount United and UCD Waves boss joined the process in October.

Gleeson will now lead the the Girls In Green into the qualifying phase for the 2025 Uefa Women’s European Championships, which kicks off in April 2024.

Appointments to Gleeson’s coaching and support team will be confirmed in the new year, with the next international camp taking place in February. Emma Byrne and Colin Healy acted as her assistants through her interim tenure.

“For me, there is nothing greater than being Irish,” Gleeson said.

“To have the opportunity to lead my country on the highest stage internationally and be entrusted with the responsibility of maximising the potential of this exciting team and future Ireland players is the proudest and most humbling moment of my life to date. 

“Fresh from the experience of working with our fantastic players and staff during our recent Uefa Nations League campaign, and seeing all of our talented young players at underage level, there is huge potential for us to build on and to ensure consistent regular qualification for and progression in major tournaments.”

Canham confirmed that the FAI “spoke with candidates from around the world and we are delighted to confirm Eileen as the outstanding candidate following an extensive interview process”.

“We were pleased that Eileen decided to join the process in October following an excellent start to the Uefa Nations League campaign and discussions around her future.

“We have seen how effective Eileen can be in the role – not just in the results achieved and the football played but in creating a positive, inclusive and high performing environment that brings the best out of everyone. 

“I am also looking forward working with Eileen to support the development of young female players and working closely with our development teams to create a consistent and aligned approach through the Pathway.”

Vera Pauw guided Ireland to their first-ever major tournament in the 2023 Women’s World Cup amidst a near four-year tenure.

The FAI decided not to offer the Dutchwoman a new contract in August. 

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