Louise Quinn on Eileen Gleeson : ‘She has made me the player that I am’

Louise Quinn

Louise Quinn Credit: Conor Ryan (ETPhotos)

Macdara Ferris reports from the National Football Stadium in Windsor Park

Louise Quinn was the last to leave the mix-zone beside the Windsor Park dressingroom after the Republic of Ireland’s 6-1 victory on Tuesday night when the curtain closed on an incredible year for the Girls in Green.

Quinn was happy to take the time to reflect on what has been an incredible 2023 - from the World Cup in Australia to the six wins out of six UEFA Nations League campaign orchestrated by Eileen Gleeson and her management team.

“It has been the most special year of my career,” said Quinn the 114 time capped international. “In terms of what I get from this team, I can't ask for much more. Getting to a World Cup, then being dominant in this (Nations League) group.”

extratime.com asked the Birmingham City defender about the contribution of Eileen Gleeson with her time as interim boss ending at the final whistle in Belfast.

“What you see is what you get with Eilo. I've known here since I was 15. She made me captain of Peamount. She has progressed my career. She has made me the player that I am in terms of what she did for me at such a young age and such an important time in my development. 

“She was back in as assistant (manager) but how she has come into this role has been brilliant. You can see her progression as a coach and how she uses the staff around her - Colin (Healy), Richie (Fitzgibbon) and Emma Byrne.

"Having those people back in has been excellent. It has been a brilliant environment. The players have loved it but the management deserve this success.”

Quinn netted her 16th international goal in the game in Windsor Park – a goal that came from a discussion at half time with Colin Healy about set piece delivery.

“We were talking at half time. Their keeper (Maddison Harvey- Clifford) was quite dominant in the air. She was very good at claiming balls. So I was can we please do an outswinger of a corner? He was like 'yeah, absolutely. Just adapt and do what you need to do."

“So we switched it and one outswinger (from Megan Connollly on her 50th international cap) and I got my goal. I waved over to Colin! I felt they were slightly zonal and there was a lot of space for an outswinger. I was very happy to get my head on it.”

The Girls in Green end the year with promotion to League A of the UEFA Nations League and go into the EURO 2025 in a very good place.

“(We’ve) confidence in what we do. Confidence in what management are telling us and for us to implement it. It is shoulders back, chest up.

"We are here to compete. We are here to be dominant on the ball when we need to be. We want to put teams away - agression, being on the front foot and pressing.”