Coaches make safer return to course action
All plans for coaching courses were put on hold last March following the outbreak of the pandemic, but that didn't halt the learning process with a series of specialised webinars being produced over the last three months.
However, the green light was issued this week for the second block of a UEFA A Licence course to resume. Safety precautions were taken with social distancing enforced and Health Service Executive guidelines followed.
For the participants not able to attend the course in person, they too were facilitated - with the help of Avenir Sports - as the day's proceedings were broadcast live via a private link.
And it was business as usual with Republic of Ireland Assistant Coach Damien Duff producing an excellent presentation, while Ireland Under-19 Head Coach Tom Mohan provided a detailed look at how he prepares his squad for international games.
The work of Coach Educators Jim Crawford, Paul Osam and Jason Donohue was crucial in ensuring that each of the participants felt comfortable in the environment and that the focus was on soaking up vital information at a key stage of the course.
FAI Coach Education Coordinator Craig Sexton said: "It was great to get back into the room, even if it was a virtual experience for some of the participants. A lot of work went into ensuring that everyone was catered for in the safest way possible.
"It's important that we continue to follow the recommended Government & HSE guidelines, so it was fantastic to have the help of the professional staff at the Carlton Hotel to ensure that everything was arranged perfectly.
"Of course, we would to announce more Coach Education courses in the near future, but we cannot rush the process because dealing with the pandemic is still very much a live issue. So we would like to thank the coaches all around the country for their patience but also tell them that we are working hard to get more courses available again."
The FAI are currently exploring the integration of a new e-Learning platform that will facilitate the process of hosting more online courses, but the Coach Education Department is putting safety first as the return to football continues.