Former Reggae Boyz Head coach Hallgrimsson lands top job with Republic of Ireland

By Sports Desk July 10, 2024
Heimir Hallgrimsson Heimir Hallgrimsson file

Weeks after parting ways with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Heimir Hallgrimsson secured the top job as the Republic of Ireland's new manager.

The former senior Reggae Boyz coach, who resigned his post following a failed Copa America campaign, was the surprise selection by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) to lead the country's football forward. He replaces interim manager John O'Shea, who took charge of the team after Stephen Kenny departed the post last November.

Hallgrimsson, 57, will get a baptism of fire of sorts, as his first assignment with Ireland will be Nations League action against England in September. Ironically, his tenure with the Reggae Boyz started similarly, albeit with a friendly against World Champions Argentina.

Still, the Icelandic coach, who led Iceland when they eliminated England during the 2016 Euro 2016 Championships,  seems ready to hit the ground running, with eyes on the 2026 World Cup.

"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," Hallgrimsson shared.

"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. 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," he added.

Meanwhile, FAI director of football Marc Canham said Hallgrimsson has been on their radar for quite some time.

"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," Canham said.

 

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