Eileen Gleeson announced as Ireland head coach

Eileen Gleeson looks on during the UEFA Women's Nations League match between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
Eileen Gleeson looks on during the UEFA Women's Nations League match between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland at Aviva Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The Football Association of Ireland has unveiled Eileen Gleeson as Head Coach of the Ireland Women’s National Team. 

Gleeson has been managing the squad as interim head coach following the departure of Vera Pauw in August. In the Nations League games since, Gleeson has led the Girls in Green to promotion to League A, with six consecutive wins. 

The team now look to 2024, with qualification for the 2025 Euros getting underway in April. The draw for qualification will take place on March 5th. 

In response to the news, Gleeson said: “For me, there is nothing greater than being Irish. 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.

“This is an extremely exciting time for Irish Women’s Football. I am truly honoured and privileged to be involved.”

Home Again: Gleeson’s past with the FAI

Dublin-born Gleeson has a long history with the FAI, having managed Ballymun United, St. James’s Gate, Peamount United and UCD from 2000 through to 2017. Under her tenure, Peamount United became a dominant force in Irish women’s football. Gleeson led the team to a domestic treble in 2010, and lifted the inaugural Women’s National League trophy in 2012.

In 2019, incoming Ireland manager Pauw appointed Gleeson as her assistant. She stayed in the role for two years before taking the head coach position at Glasgow City. 

Gleeson’s stint at City spanned from November 2021 to December 2022. She left the club sitting top of the SWPL with 12 games played. The team went on to win the league. Meanwhile, Gleeson returned home to Ireland to assume the role of Head of Women and Girls Football with the FAI at the beginning of 2023. 

In the coming weeks, the newly-appointed Ireland boss will look to assemble a coaching team ahead of the February international break.

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