Emma Byrne: Former keeper named in Republic of Ireland's interim coaching team

Former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne has been named in the coaching staff of interim manager Eileen Gleeson
Emma Byrne's record 134 Republic of Ireland women's caps included a four-year stint at captain

The Republic of Ireland's most-capped women's player Emma Byrne has been named in the coaching team of interim manager Eileen Gleeson.

Former Arsenal keeper Byrne's 134 Irish caps between 1996 and 2017 included a four-year stint as captain.

Byrne and former Republic of Ireland men's international Colin Healy have been appointed assistant coaches.

Richie Fitzgibbon will be goalkeeping coach for the Nations League games against Northern Ireland and Hungary.

Byrne won 11 league titles and a Uefa Women's Champions League during her career at Arsenal.

In April 2017, then Republic captain Byrne was among 12 players who aired grievances about the squad's treatment as they threatened to go on strike days before an international against Slovakia.

Healy earned 13 Republic of Ireland caps and his coaching career has included leading Cork City to promotion to the League of Ireland Premier Division plus a stint as Ireland men's Under-19 assistant coach.

Fitzgibbon is the Football Association of Ireland's (FAI) high performance national coach educator and holds a UEFA A goalkeeping licence having worked with a number of youth international teams.

Last month, Gleeson was appointed as interim coach a day after the FAI opted not to renew of the contract of Vera Pauw following this year's World Cup finals.

Pauw guided the Republic women to their first major finals in Australia but there had been controversy surrounding the Dutch woman after allegations around body shaming from 2018, which she denied, and an apparent falling out with Irish captain Katie McCabe at the World Cup.

Following the FAI's decision, Pauw accused the governing body of interfering in football matters during the World Cup and said it had reneged on offering her a new deal.

Gleeson's interim coaching team will link up with the Republic squad on 18 September in advance of the Northern Ireland contest at the Aviva Stadium five days later and the Budapest game on 26 September.