Gleeson appointed Head of Women and Girls’ Football
A UEFA Pro Licence holder with experience coaching at domestic and international level, Eileen recently left her role as manager of Glasgow City having previously spent two years as Assistant Coach to Vera Pauw with the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team.
Eileen enjoyed tremendous success in the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League by guiding Peamount United to League and Cup success, as well as a run to the last-32 of the UEFA Women’s Champions League. She also brought UCD Waves to the FAI Women’s Cup Final.
Along with her coaching achievements, Eileen has also completed an MSc in Coaching & Exercise Science, is finishing a PhD for her specialised topic analysing expert decision-making in elite soccer and spent almost two decades as a Sports Officer with Dublin City Council.
Reporting to FAI Director of Football Marc Canham, Eileen will be responsible for helping to grow participation and retention of women and girls at all levels of the game, while also supporting wider football development strategies, ensuring there is a pathway for every woman and girl in Ireland to achieve their full potential.
Commenting on the announcement, Eileen said: “I’m delighted to join the FAI on a full-time basis as the Head of Women and Girls’ Football in what is a really exciting time for women and girls’ football, from Grassroots all the way up to international level.
“Having been involved in football all of my life, I believe this role gives me a great opportunity to have a positive impact in ensuring that all women and girls feel that they can enjoy football, no matter what level it may be.
“I’m looking forward to working with my new colleagues in the FAI and everyone connected with women and girls’ football around the country to help add to and support the excellent work that is already being done within communities, clubs and leagues.”
FAI CEO Jonathan Hill said: “Eileen’s appointment is a significant step in delivering real growth in one of our six core strategic pillars and I am sure that Eileen will help us to build on the fantastic success of our Senior Women’s National Team by using their qualification to this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup to inspire all women and girls to feel that they can get involved in a wide range of roles, from playing, coaching, refereeing or volunteering. We believe Eileen’s wide experience within the game is perfect for delivering real growth and change and I wish her well in the role.”
FAI Director of Football Marc Canham said: “We are delighted to add someone of Eileen’s experience, expertise and enthusiasm to our Football Division to help drive women and girls’ football forward.
“Eileen has a genuine passion for the women and girls' football having played and coached to a high level, including having a key role in the development of our Ireland Women’s National Team alongside Vera Pauw and, more recently, leading Glasgow City.
“This is an exciting time for women and girls’ football in Ireland with participation rates at an all-time high and excellent work being done at all levels to develop the game further. Eileen will bring a lot of new ideas to help shape and implement a strategy on Women and Girls’ Football as we work towards including more women in our game across a range of roles and areas.”
To further strengthen the commitment to women’s football, it has also been confirmed that Tom Elmes and Andrew Holt have been appointed to full-time roles with the Women’s National Team.
Elmes, who is Assistant Manager, will step away from his role as Women’s Under-16 Head Coach to assist Vera Pauw on a full-time basis for the period leading up to and including the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Also part of the WNT backroom staff, Holt will move to a full-time position as Performance Analyst for the same period of time as he will be on secondment from the FAI Football Division.