Twenty different coaches have been accepted onto the 2020/22 UEFA Pro Licence course that will be run by the Football Association of Ireland.
The 2020/22 UEFA Pro Licence participants are:
Tim Clancy, Dan Connor, Ian Ryan, Carlo Cudicini, Kevin Doherty, Daire Doyle, Tom Elmes, Anthony Hayes, Ruairdhi Higgins, Denis Hyland, Graham Kelly, Andy Keogh, Ian Morris, Alan Murphy, John O’Shea, Sean O’Shea, Aidan Price, Matthew Ross, John Russell, James Scott
Amongst the group are nine coaches currently working in the SSE Airtricity League, two managing in the Women’s National League, three involved with Republic of Ireland international teams, while others are thriving in their respective careers further afield.
One of the participants is former Ireland captain John O’Shea, who earned 118 caps during a playing career that saw him lead his country out at EURO 2016. He is currently first-team coach with Reading in the English Championship, having previously completed his UEFA B & A certificates with the FAI, and was recently appointed as assistant coach to the Ireland Under-21s.
Another international player, Andy Keogh, is also on the course having worked his way up the coaching ladder. The 30-times capped Ireland forward had been coaching in Perth, Australia whilst playing in the A-League for Perth Glory and recently played in India for North East United FC. He is now getting ready for the next challenge in his career.
Also working abroad is Anthony Hayes, who is Lead Professional Development Phase Coach for Charlton Athletic’s Under-17 / U-18s. In Sweden, Sean O’Shea is assistant coach at AIK Stockholm, while Matthew Ross is assistant coach for the Republic of Korea Women’s National Team – working alongside former Ireland Women’s Team manager Colin Bell.
FAI High Performance Director Ruud Dokter feels that Irish football will gain from having more highly-skilled coaches complete their education and transfer that knowledge back to the players that they work with on a daily basis.
“The UEFA Pro Licence is the highest coaching certification in Europe and is recognised all around the world. Its holder is amongst a select group of the very best coaches. It is fantastic to have 20 excellent participants come through the application process to be part of our next group and I would like to congratulate them and wish them the very best of luck,” said Dokter.
“The course has been upgraded and improved greatly since the FAI first hosted it in 2009, which is in line with modern-day coaching practices and UEFA guidelines, It is great credit to Niall O’Regan and his team in our Coach Education Department for continuing to raise the standards for our coaches.
“We are excited to help this group of coaches reach the next level in their respective careers and we believe that Irish football, as a whole, will benefit from the experience and skills that they gain from participating on this course.”
In total, 90 coaches applied for the course with 35 coaches completing the theory exams and interview process. The course will be delivered with contact blocks over an 18-month period, which will include international club visits, a study visit to UEFA HQ, and individual club assessments.
The calibre of coaches coming through the FAI Coach Education continues to improve with 92 UEFA A Licence coaches, 78 UEFA B Licence coaches, and 36 UEFA Elite Youth A Licence coaches all graduating in 2019.
With his department engaging with over 10,000 coaches each year, FAI Head of Coach Education Niall O’Regan believes the progression of coaches through the system can be reflected in the group confirmed for the UEFA Pro Licence.
“I am delighted to see the number of coaches within the next UEFA Pro Licence group having completed a number of our UEFA Licence courses previously,” said O’Regan.
“It is also great to see coaches who received very specific feedback having not been accepted in the previous course, implementing that feedback and now entering the 2020-2022 course, which really identifies their engagement but also how successful the process of providing feedback to coaches has been.
“This area of feedback and self-reflection/evaluation is a significant component of all of our coaching courses, and it is great to see it come to life in situations like this.
“The course group has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the game and I am looking forward to working with them over the coming 18 months on their completion through the course.
“It was great to meet with each of the coaches last week via video calls, with Craig Sexton (Coach Education Coordinator) also involved as we mapped out the journey between now and working to completion. Also, this will be the platform for the design of the micro groups and the coaches will have further online one-on-one sessions to aid them in shaping their own learning plans in relation to completing the course assignments and requirements.”
This latest UEFA Pro Licence course had an individual online induction last week with the group set to get together for the first block in November 2020.