WNT: World Cup Qualifiers Squad Released As Gleeson Departs For Glasgow City

The Football Association of Ireland has announced that Eileen Gleeson will depart her role as Assistant Manager with the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team in order to take over as Manager of Glasgow City.

Appointed to the role in October 2019, when Vera Pauw started her reign as Ireland Manager, Eileen Gleeson has had a hugely positive impact on the team and has been a key component in the team’s development.

The Dubliner will continue to work with the squad for the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying double-header against Sweden and Finland, while also overseeing a Home-based training session with SSE Airtricity Women’s National League players.

Gleeson will then officially take up her new role with Glasgow City in November as she prepares for the next stage of her career. The UEFA Pro Licence holder previously led Peamount United to League glory in 2011 as well as winning two League Cups in 2012 & 2013, while she guided UCD Waves to a League runners-up spot and an FAI Women’s Cup Final.

Responsible for the scouting and integration of League players to the Ireland squad, Gleeson has made a huge impact in helping to increase the number and quality of home-based players involved with the Women’s Senior Team. She also worked closely on opposition analysis and team preparation – always bringing a positive attitude to training sessions.

Gleeson said: “This is a bittersweet feeling for me because on one side I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with Glasgow City – one of the most progressive clubs in women’s football – but on the other side I am leaving on the cusp of very exciting times for women’s football in Ireland and the beginning of the World Cup Qualifying campaign with the Irish team. 

“But I feel that this opportunity with Glasgow is one that I couldn’t turn down in order to take the next step forward in my career and development as a manager. It is really unfortunate that it comes just when we are starting our World Cup qualifying campaign – something that I was really looking forward to as I genuinely believe that we can qualify for the tournament in 2022. 

“The last two years have been unbelievable. I’ve learnt so much by working alongside Vera. The same with the players and the backroom staff, it was a pleasure to work with all and to share so many highlights. I firmly believe that this team is capable of doing something special. I wish everyone involved the very best of luck going forward and will always be the team’s number one supporter. 

“I’d like to thank Ruud Dokter for his continued support and also thank the FAI Board, CEO Jonathan Hill and all of the coaches, administrators, players and officials in the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League, Dave Connell, James Scott and Tom Elmes with our underage international teams, and especially Vera, Jan Willem van Ede, Andy Holt, the entire backroom staff and, of course, the players.”

Ireland WNT Manager Vera Pauw said: “I am really disappointed to lose Eileen from our team, having built up such a good working relationship and achieved a lot in the development of our squad over the last two years. But I’m also really happy for her to take this step in her career by accepting the role with Glasgow City. I wish her all the success she can get both in the Scottish Championship and in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. She has so much to offer and will add all her experience and knowledge to the team.

“Wherever I have worked I have always wanted an assistant coach from the country I worked who knew the local players and had a strong understanding of the football culture of the country. In that regard, Eileen has been one of the best that I’ve worked with in my career and I thank her for all that she brought to the role with the Ireland squad.

“We have enjoyed some intense and great times together, along with the players and the extended backroom staff, and I’m sure the work that Eileen has done will help us in our quest to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

FAI High Performance Director Ruud Dokter said: “I would like to thank Eileen for all of the work that she did with the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team. She had a key role in the team and it is quite clear that the squad have improved during their time together, with more hopefully to come in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign.

“Eileen has been an important figure in women’s football in Ireland for quite some time and her impact has been there to see in the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League as well as the Ireland national team set-up. 

“Taking over with Glasgow City is a fantastic opportunity for Eileen and one that I’m only too happy to support as she takes on this challenge. I wish her the very best of luck for the future.”

Squad selection

Women Football Huddle

The Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team get their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign started next week.

Vera Pauw has selected a 27-player squad for the visit of Sweden to Tallaght Stadium on Thursday, October 21st and the trip to Helsinki to take on Finland on Tuesday, October 26th.

Ireland were due to kick off their campaign last month with a game away to Georgia but that was rescheduled to June 2022, so they played an international friendly at home to Australia instead.

Now all of the focus is on getting going in Group A with all tickets already snapped up for the Sweden game, which is operating at a reduced capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Injuries rule out Keeva Keenan, Claire O’Riordan, Megan Campbell, Alli Murphy, Clare Shine (ankle), Ruesha Littlejohn (foot), Isibeal Atkinson (quad) and Hayley Nolan (shoulder).

Ireland last played against Sweden in June 2008, while their most recent meeting with Finland came in June 2016.

The squad will begin their preparations for the two games on Sunday, October 17th with their first training session at the FAI National Training Centre.

Republic of Ireland WNT Squad
Goalkeepers: Grace Moloney (Reading), Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Eve Badana (DLR Waves), Amanda Budden (Shelbourne)

Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Claire Walsh (Glasgow City), Diane Caldwell (North Carolina Courage), Louise Quinn (Birmingham City), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Savannah McCarthy (Galway WFC), Éabha O’Mahony (Boston College), Áine O’Gorman (Peamount United)

Midfielders: Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Jamie Finn (Birmingham City), Niamh Farrelly (Glasgow City), Ciara Grant (Shelbourne), Aoibheann Clancy (Wexford Youths), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Katie McCabe (Arsenal)

Forwards: Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Rianna Jarrett (London City Lionesses), Heather Payne (Florida State University), Leanne Kiernan (Liverpool), Kyra Carusa (HB Hoge), Saoirse Noonan (Shelbourne), Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City)

2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifier – Group A
Republic of Ireland v Sweden
Thursday, October 21
Tallaght Stadium
KO 19:00

2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifier – Group A
Finland v Republic of Ireland
Tuesday, October 26
Olympic Stadium, Helsinki
KO 18:15 (16:15 Irish Time)

HerSport Editor

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