It has been announced by the FAI that 17 new coaches will be participating in the UEFA pro licence course in Ireland during the coming year. Because of a limit, this will only be the fourth course that will be held in this country. It will be an addition to the 49 current diploma holders who have come through the FAI’s ranks so far.
FAI Coach Education Manager Greig Patterson announced that they ‘have received an abundance of interviews for the next edition of their Pro Diploma course’ and that they are happy are delighted with the shortlist of candidates’.
Amongst the 17 candidates who have been chosen for this course will be two women (Eileen Gleeson and Sue Ronan) and this is the first time this has happened. This will be seen as a boost for women’s football in this country.
Stephanie Roche’s wonder goal against Wexford Youths last year became a worldwide internet phenomenon and the progress of Irish teams in the UEFA Women’s Champions League over the past few seasons has captured the public’s interest somewhat so this could be the boost the Bus Eireann Women’s National League needs to attract more supporters for the upcoming season.
But perhaps the most interesting name on the list is former Bohemians player and caretaker manager Owen Heary. Following the sacking of Aaron Callaghan last July, Heary took over the reins for 90 days but could not take control for any longer because he lacked the sufficient badges. Bobby Browne came in once the 90 days were up and he along with Heary led ‘The Gypsies’ to safety.
But once the season was over it became clear that if he could obtain the qualifications it would only be a matter of time before Heary would be installed as permanent manager and that looks to be the case following this announcement.
FAI high performance manager Ruud Dokter and current U-21 manager Noel King be leading the course and it will commence over the next few months.
The confirmed candidates are: Stuart Ashton, John Caulfield, Dave Connell, Jason Donohue, Eileen Gleeson, Tommy Griffin, Niall Harrison, Owen Heary, Ollie Horgan, Robbie Horgan, Peter Hutton, Colin O’Brien, Don O’Riordan, Tom Mohan, Mick Neville, Sue Ronan and Leo Tierney.