Heimir Hallgrimsson named new Republic of Ireland manager

James Cox

Icelandic coach Heimir Hallgrimsson is the new Republic of Ireland men's manager.

It ends the FAI's eight-month search for a successor to Stephen Kenny. A number of names such as Lee Carsley, Neil Lennon, Slaven Bilic, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Roy Keane had all been linked with the job.

Alongside Lars Lagerbeck, Hallgrimsson  led his native Iceland to Euro 2016 where they famously knocked England out of the competition.

Hallgrimson also guided Iceland to their first ever World Cup finals - in Russia in 2018.

For the past two years, he has been in charge of Jamaica. Hallgrimson also practiced as a dentist for many years.

John O'Shea had stepped up to the interim manager role after previously serving as an Ireland underage coach, and an assistant to Kenny. It remains unclear if he will be involved in the new coaching set-up.

“It is an honour to be appointed today,” said Hallgrímsson. “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.”

It will be a baptims of fire for Hallgrimsson as his first game in charge will be the UEFA Nations League clash against England at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, September 7th.