Eileen Gleeson’s backroom team has been confirmed this morning ahead of the opening of the Irish WNT’s 2024 season.
Gleeson, who was announced as the permanent WNT manager following a stint as the interim boss for Ireland’s latest Nations League campaign, will be once again joined by Colin Healy and Emma Byrne as her assistants, with Rhys Carr joining the ranks as a new addition in that capacity too.
On top of that, Ivi Casagrande comes in as the team’s Performance Coach, where she’ll be working alongside Performance Psychologist Sarah Murray and Nutritionist Dr. Brendan Egan.
This completion of Eileen Gleeson’s backroom team comes as the squad look ahead to their upcoming international friendlies away to Italy on February 23rd and home in Tallaght Stadium versus Cymru, or Wales, on February 27th.
With the support staff now in place, here’s a look into exactly who they are and why they’ve been chosen to help the Girls in Green prepare for those matches, as well as their looming UEFA Women’s European Championship Qualifiers later this year.
𝙒𝙉𝙏 𝙎𝙪𝙥𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙩 𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙛𝙛 𝘾𝙤𝙣𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙢𝙚𝙙
Head Coach Eileen Gleeson will be supported by Assistant Coaches Colin Healy, Emma Byrne and new addition Rhys Carr, plus Performance Coach Ivi Casegrande 👊
The full support staff will begin prep for the UEFA Women’s European… pic.twitter.com/Of4X2nK8UP
— Ireland Football ⚽️🇮🇪 (@IrelandFootball) February 12, 2024
Rhys Carr - the new addition
As the newcomer, Carr is perhaps the biggest talking point from Eileen Gleeson’s backroom team announcement.
The Welsh man is a UEFA A Licence graduate and also holds a Msc in Sports Coaching.
He’s also currently an Individual Development Coach at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League.
— Rhys Carr (@RhysCarr86) December 14, 2023
Emma Byrne returns to Eileen Gleeson’s backroom team
As the former Irish captain, one of the country’s best goalkeepers of all time and the record cap holder for the Girls in Green, Emma Byrne really needs no introduction.
The Arsenal legend did feature in Gleeson’s interim coaching staff late last year, and now makes a return on a permanent basis.
There it’s been indicated that she will now specialise in goalkeeping coaching in her role as assistant coach, seemingly replacing Richie Fitzgibbon who had been the interim goalkeeping coach.
As one of the major voices in women’s football coverage here in Ireland, in the WSL in England and internationally, this move will more than likely mean we will see Byrne take a step back from her media duties in favour of pursuing this new avenue.
Everyone at the podcast is very proud of Emma for this next step but it also sadly means this week's podcast will be her last with us. 💚
If you've any final questions or words of thanks to her, let us know and we will put them to her 👇🏻 https://t.co/NN2UQMEfnh
— The COYGIG Pod (@TheCOYGIGPod) February 12, 2024
Colin Healy confirmed in the support staff
Fellow assistant coach Colin Healy also played for Ireland internationally, although he’s perhaps more recently known for his role as Cork City manager in the League of Ireland.
The 13 time capped Irish man led The Rebels to promotion to the Premier Division in 2022, and also worked as the Ireland men’s U19 assistant coach for a period too.
Colin Healy is and will forever be a true Cork City FC legend. Took over the club at a low ebb and brought the team back to the Premier Division.
Thanks for everything Colin and all the best for the future. 👍🏻 https://t.co/F5nTaRTI1u
— John O'Shea (@JohnOShea1993) May 4, 2023
Ivi Casagrande welcomed to Eileen Gleeson’s backroom team
Ivi Casagrande has also joined Eileen Gleeson’s backroom team, having worked with Lewes Women, FIFA and UEFA in the past.
The Brazilian Sports Performance Coach notes on her website that she “is passionate about not only the holistic physical preparation of athletes but also empowering young coaches in their own journeys in the world of sports.”
“Through sharing my own journey and experiences, my goal is to provide guidance for young coaches and athletes in order to help and support them in their own career goals,” she adds.
Post Vera Pauw era begins for Irish women’s team. Ivi Casagrande, former Brazil performance coach, joining new interim assistant coach Emma Byrne in the preliminaries. pic.twitter.com/R8rJxp7rSq
— John Fallon (@JFallonExaminer) September 18, 2023