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Female-only coaching courses thrive across Northern Ireland

The Irish FA Foundation’s female-only coaching courses are proving to be extremely popular.


Last year saw the biggest uptake to date for courses where only women and girls take part. Five female-only national coaching certificate (NCC) courses were staged – a new record.

In the early part of 2021, three courses were run under strict COVID protocols, which meant there had to be a blended approach to their delivery. There were virtual settings for the theory elements of the courses, with practical sessions taking place a few months later, followed by further practical sessions held at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.

More recently, NCC courses for women and girls were delivered at Crewe United’s ground in Glenavy (24 participants) and the Bawnacre Centre in Irvinestown (18 participants).

Women's football strategy vision

The Irish FA Foundation’s girls’ participation officer, Clare Carson, said the roll-out of the courses supports the vision within the Irish FA women’s football strategy of growing the game and maximising impact. More than 90 new female coaches from over 40 clubs have been upskilled by completing female-only NCC courses, she added.

Gail Redmond, the Irish FA Foundation’s development manager for women’s football, said: “We are on target not just to have 24 new female coaches per year but to double the amount of female NCC coaches by 2024.”

This edited article originally appeared in UEFA Direct 196