Ireland Women Make Key Additions to Coaching Staff

    The Ireland Women’s National Team have announced some key additions to head coach Eileen Gleeson’s backroom staff.

    Assistant coaches Colin Healy and Emma Byrne have returned to the fold. Healy brings a wealth of experience to proceedings, while Byrne will now specialise in goalkeeping coaching.

    Byrne played a key role in the successful UEFA Nations League campaign last year that saw the Irish women seal promotion with a perfect record, winning six out of six League B Group 1 fixtures.

    Performance Coach Ivi Casagrande also continues in her role, providing valuable insights and support.

    Joining the team for the first time is Rhys Carr – an Individual Development Coach at Wolverhampton Wanderers with a UEFA A Licence and a Master’s degree in Sports Coaching.

    Carr’s expertise will add fresh perspectives to the team and strengthen the Irish Women team’s coaching set-up.

    Rounding out the team are Performance Psychologist Sarah Murray and Nutritionist Dr Brendan Egan, ensuring the mental and physical health of the players is prioritised.

    With this experienced and diverse staff in place, the Girls in Green should be well-equipped to tackle the upcoming UEFA Women’s European Qualifiers.

    They kick off their preparations with international friendlies against Italy on February 23 before taking on Wales four days later.

    Ireland have been in rampant form since their disappointing performance at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where they failed to make it past the group phase.

    They have since picked themselves up, running through everyone in their path to claim six consecutive victories, and bettors in Ireland will be eager to capitalise on their outstanding winning streak.

    They head into the friendly against Italy as massive underdogs, but the best Irish betting sites will be offering generous odds on the Girls in Green to pull off an upset.

    The Italians have been climbing the world rankings and will be favourites to defeat Ireland later this month despite not displaying the same dominant form as their upcoming opponents.

    However, the bookies will be taking no chances when Ireland host Wales four days later, with the home side strongly fancied to deliver a winning return to Irish bettors.


    FAI Appoint Two Female Directors in Line with the Government’s Gender Balance Requirement

    The General Assembly of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has taken a significant step towards gender equality by exceeding the Government’s mandated representation for women on its board.

    With the recent appointments of Ursula Scully and Laura Finnegan O’Halloran, the board of the FAI now boasts 43% female representation, surpassing the requirement of 30%.

    With these appointments, the FAI now has 14 directors on its board, thereby exceeding the gender balance requirements mandated by the government.

    These appointments were made through a recent vote by the General Assembly, demonstrating a genuine commitment to diversity and inclusion within the organisation.

    They had previously voted in favour of expanding the board to incorporate two additional female directors, with Scully and Finnegan now joining Catherine Guy, Liz Joyce, Niamh O’Mahony and Maeve McMahon on the FAI board.

    This move not only secures access to critical Government funding but also sends a powerful message to women who may hesitate to pursue leadership roles in the traditionally male-dominated world of football.

    Both Scully and Finnegan bring valuable experience and expertise to the table. Scully returns after previously serving on the board from 2019 to 2021, and her deep connection to grassroots football will be invaluable.

    She is the secretary of the North Tipperary Schoolchildren’s Football League and a committee member of the Munster FA and has been elected as a Football Director to the Board.

    Finnegan, with her academic background in sports management and talent development, offers a fresh perspective and research-driven insights, having been elected as an Independent Director.


    FAI Staff Graduate from Sport Ireland Coaching Course

    FAI staff members recently celebrated a significant milestone in their careers, with 29 of them graduating as Coach Developers and Coach Developers Assessors through an educational initiative with Sports Ireland.

    The ceremony, held at the Sports Pavilion of the University of Limerick, also marked a historic first – the inaugural awarding of the Certificate in Sports Coach Development by Sport Ireland Coaching as a QQI service provider.

    This achievement culminates a 14-month endeavour by the FAI, focused on upskilling their full-time coach education staff as Coach Developers.

    Twelve of the graduates were women, paving the way for an increasingly diverse and inclusive coaching landscape.

    Aoibh Hall became the first female FAI Coach Developer to receive the QQI award, setting an inspiring example for future generations.

    This collaboration not only benefits the FAI’s coaching staff but also strengthens the overall framework for sports coaching development in Ireland.




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