Gleeson not keen to discuss any other roles with FAI

Gleeson not keen to discuss any other roles with FAI

Eileen Gleeson, the manager of the Republic of Ireland women's team, has refused to comment on speculation regarding her potential return to her former role as Head of Women's and Girls' Football with the FAI after her Ireland contract expires.

Gleeson was announced as the manager of the Irish women's team last year, and consequently, her former role with the FAI is now vacant. The role has yet to be filled.

A report from the Irish Independent last week stated that candidates had been discouraged from applying for the position because it had been changed from a permanent to a fixed-term contract.

Gleeson, the Dublin native, has a current Ireland deal running until the end of the Euro 2025 campaign, and candidates reportedly "believe they would only be keeping the seat warm for Eileen" until she potentially reverts to the role.

After six wins out of six in the Nations League and promotion to League A last year, Gleeson is now back in the Ireland camp and will be preparing for the Italy and Wales games later this month.

When asked about the idea of returning to her former role with the FAI on Monday, Gleeson poured cold water on the rumours, stating that she is fully focused on managing the Ireland team.

"If you want to ask about that, ask Marc [Canham, the FAI's director of football]. I am fully focused here now and not focused on the head of women's and girls' football," Gleeson said on Monday.

"I am here; I am busy enough trying to take care of this stuff. I am not going to discuss any other roles."

Republic of Ireland head coach Eileen Gleeson, (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Gleeson was pushed further about the rumours and doubled down on her original answer, reiterating that the Ireland team comes first before any other role.

"I am here to talk about this camp and preparation for the qualifiers. That’s as far as I am going with this conversation," she added.

"I am just not going into it. It’s as simple as that. I am here as the head coach of the women's national team, and you are asking me about the head of women’s and girls’ football. If you want to ask any questions about the camp, feel free."

Switching focus to the Ireland team, the Ireland Women’s National Team updated their squad ahead of the international friendlies against Italy and Cyprus this weekend.

Midfielders Denise O'Sullivan and Tyler Toland have been ruled out due to respective knee injuries, with Peamount United duo Erin McLaughlin and Jess Fitzgerald brought in as replacements.

It is the first senior call-up for 17-year-old Lucan native Fitzgerald, who is promoted from the Ireland Women's Under-19s.

The squad has assembled in Florence on Monday, February 19, and will train at Viola Park, the home base for ACF Fiorentina, ahead of the game against Italy on Friday, February 23.

Following that fixture, the squad will return to Dublin to train at the FAI National Training Centre before taking on Cymru on Friday, February 27 at Tallaght Stadium.

The two games will serve as part of the preparation for the upcoming UEFA EURO 2025 Qualifiers, which kick off in April following the draw on March 5.

IRELAND WNT SQUADGoalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Grace Moloney (London City Lionesses), Sophie Whitehouse (Lewes)Defenders: Jessie Stapleton (Reading, on loan from West Ham United), Diane Caldwell (FC Zurich), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Caitlin Hayes (Celtic), Louise Quinn (Birmingham City), Aoife Mannion (Manchester United), Megan Campbell (London City Lionesses)Midfielders: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Lily Agg (Birmingham City), Megan Connolly (Bristol City), Ruesha Littlejohn (London City Lionesses), Jamie Finn (Birmingham City), Heather Payne (Everton), Jess Ziu (West Ham United), Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City), Izzy Atkinson (Crystal Palace), Erin McLaughlin (Peamount United), Jess Fitzgerald (Peamount United)Forwards: Kyra Carusa (San Diego Wave), Abbie Larkin (Crystal Palace), Amber Barrett (Standard Liege), Leanne Kiernan (Liverpool), Emily Murphy (Wake Forest University) FIXTURESFriday, February 23 | Italy v Ireland, Viola Park, Florence, KO 18:15 (17:15 Irish Time), LIVE on RTÉ NewsNow Tuesday, February 27 | Ireland v Cymru, Tallaght Stadium, KO 19:30, LIVE on RTÉ2