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Republic of Ireland: Female coaches on the rise

The number of female coaches in the Republic of Ireland earning UEFA qualifications is at an all-time high – and is set to increase even further.


The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) is facilitating the coaching progression of women by hosting new women-only UEFA coaching courses in 2023.

There will be women-only UEFA C and UEFA B diploma courses, which will help to elevate participants to elite-level coaching.

The number of women holding a UEFA licence rose from ten in 2016 to 330 by January 2023. Twenty members of the current women’s national team are also involved in UEFA courses in conjunction with the Football Association of Ireland.

Breaking down barriers

The FAI’s head of coach education, Niall O’Regan, said: “The key to the success of the development of the number of women working in football is the research we completed in 2016, which identified the specific barriers to the number of women working in coaching. From that research, it was clear that the development of women-only courses plays a significant part in breaking down barriers. We have seen the number of coaches from the women-only courses progressing in their careers and getting full-time employment in football as managers and coaches. Over the past few years, 16 of the FAI’s full-time female employees have completed women-only coach education. This is really important because it can’t be just a numbers game; it is all about developing quality coaches and then ensuring there are roles and opportunities to go with the qualifications.”

The FAI hosted its annual conference for female coaches in Donegal in February, with women’s national team manager Vera Pauw and the FAI’s new head of women’s and girls’ football, Eileen Gleeson, among those who delivered engaging presentations.

This article appeared originally in UEFA Direct 201