FAI Appoint Heimir Hallgrímsson As New Ireland Manager

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Icelandic coach Heimir Hallgrímsson has been appointed as the new manager of the Republic of Ireland national team.

Following a long, arduous and much maligned search for a successor to previous manager Stephen Kenny, the FAI have confirmed the appointment, with Hallgrímsson set to be unveiled officially tomorrow.

This search for a new manager has seen the FAI miss two deadlines of February and April, with names like Lee Carsley, Neil Lennon, Chris Hughton and Steve Bruce all linked to the role.

In the meantime, the team had been managed by former player John O’Shea in a caretaker role over the last few months.

“number one candidate”

Confirming this appointment, the FAI said that Hallgrímsson was their “number one candidate”. They also said that his management experiences match the criteria needed.

FAI director of football Marc Canham also said this.

“We are thrilled to announce Heimir as our new Head Coach”, he stated.

“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”.

Halgrímsson’s best moment in football perhaps arrived in 2016 as co manager of the Iceland national team who knocked England out of the European Championships that Summer alongside Lars Lagarbeck.

After taking sole charge of the team, Halgrímsson led the team to their maiden World Cup appearance in 2018.

Last week, Halgrímsson resigned from his role as Jamaica manager in the middle of their World Cup-qualifying campaign to take the Ireland job. He had previously managed Qatari side Al-Arabi for three seasons.

“an honour”

In a statement, Heimir Hallgrímsson said that it was “an honour” to be offered the Republic of Ireland job.

“It is an honour to be appointed Head Coach of the Ireland Senior Men’s National Team”, he said in a statement.

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

He also added: “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”. 

FAI CEO David Courell also called Halgrímsson an “outstanding candidate”. 

“There has been huge interest in this appointment which ultimately is testament to how much people care about Irish football”, he said.

“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 Hallgrímsson’s first game in charge will come in September when Ireland host England in the Nations League. They will face Finland in Dublin three days later.