10 July 2024

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Heimir Hallgrímsson unveiled as the Ireland MNT Head Coach

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Heimir Hallgrímsson unveiled as the Ireland MNT Head Coach

·       Hallgrímsson named as the new Republic of Ireland Senior Men’s National Team Head Coach

·       Former Iceland and Jamaica manager will lead team for UEFA Nations League & FIFA World Cup 2026 campaigns

·       He will be officially unveiled at a press conference tomorrow (11.07.24) at the Aviva Stadium

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has today announced the appointment of Heimir Hallgrímsson as the new Head Coach of the Senior Men’s National Team.

The former head coach of Iceland and Jamaica will lead the team for the UEFA Nations League and FIFA World Cup 2026 campaigns. Hallgrímsson will assume charge of his first competitive fixture this September as Ireland face England in the UEFA Nations League.

The new Head Coach will be formally unveiled at an official press conference tomorrow (11.07.24) at the Aviva Stadium.

Hallgrímsson was identified as the FAI’s number one candidate earlier this year with his experience aligning perfectly with the Association’s search criteria. These criteria included, amongst other factors, previous international Head Coach experience, an ability to move international teams up the FIFA world rankings, a track record of qualifying and competing at major tournaments and experience in the development and progression of young players.

Heimir’s international experience started with Iceland where he was first assistant manager to Lars Lagerback from 2011 to 2013, joint Head Coach alongside Lagerback until 2016 and then sole Head Coach from 2016 to 2018. His time at the helm of the Iceland national team coincided with one of their most successful periods famously reaching the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2016, eliminating England in the last 16. In this time Iceland also qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and reached a qualification playoff for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Over the course of his time with Iceland, the team reached its highest ever FIFA ranking of 18th.

Most recently, Hallgrímsson was the Head Coach of Jamaica (2022 – 2024), where he led the team to qualification for this summer’s Conmebol Copa America 2024. His time with Jamaica also saw the team rise from 64th to 53rd in the FIFA World rankings. Hallgrímsson resigned from his role as Head Coach of Jamaica following the conclusion of their Copa America 2024 campaign at the start of this month (July).

In between his international roles with Jamaica and Iceland, Hallgrímsson gained club experience as Head Coach for the Qatar Stars League club Al-Arabi between 2018 and 2021.

Commenting on his appointment, Heimir Hallgrímsson said, “It is an honour to be appointed Head Coach of the Ireland Senior Men’s National Team. 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.”

FAI Director of Football Marc Canham commented, “We are thrilled to announce Heimir as our new Head Coach. Earlier this year, we identified Heimir as our number one 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.

“I also want to thank and pay tribute to John O’Shea and his staff who have guided the team through recent friendly internationals preparing the team impeccably, creating a brilliant environment for the players and achieving positive results on the pitch.”

FAI Interim CEO David Courell added, “This is a significant day for Irish football with the announcement of Heimir as our new head coach. There has been huge interest in this appointment which ultimately is testament to how much people care about Irish football. We are delighted to have secured a Head Coach with the experience we were seeking but more importantly one that shares our vision for Irish Football. Heimir was the outstanding candidate, and I am hugely excited at what he brings to the role.”

FAI President Paul Cooke commented, “This is an important day for the Association as we confirm Heimir Hallgrímsson as the Head Coach to take the team forward in the coming years. When I met Heimir, I was I extremely impressed by his level of professionalism, experience, integrity, and deep knowledge of the game. 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.”

Tony Keohane, Chair of the FAI Board commented, “This is a tremendous appointment for the Association. Heimir Hallgrímsson’s impressive achievements and experience in international coaching and management align perfectly with the criteria we set out with, and I am really excited at what he will bring to Irish football. The Board of the FAI is fully behind this appointment, and we look forward to seeing the team develop under his guidance.”

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