High-calibre coaches complete Pro Licence course
Having started in January 2019, the 18 participants each completed their exit interviews - via video calls - in June 2020 to finalise a process that covered all areas of coaching at the highest level of the professional game.
Over the 18 months, there were visits to five different countries, including stops at UEFA HQ and Celtic FC, while the topics covered ranged from Practical Coaching, Decision Making, Intercultural Communications to Awareness of Match-Fixing.
Amongst the guest speakers were Netherlands Assistant Manager Dwight Lodeweges, former Leeds United Manager Howard Wilkinson, West Ham United Assistant Manager Alan Irvine, and current Republic of Ireland Manager Stephen Kenny.
The 18 coaches will join the 9,076 UEFA Pro Licence holders worldwide who have completed the course to date.
John Andrews, Keith Andrews, Jim Brennan, John Cotter, Damien Duff, Neale Fenn, Paul Hegarty, Robbie Keane, Paddy McCarthy, Kevin Maher, Ger O'Brien, William O'Connor, Vinny Perth, Andy Reid, Stephen Rice, Dave Rogers, Szilard Suto, Srdjan Tufegdzic
FAI President Gerry McAnaney said: "I'd like to congratulate each of the 18 participants who have completed the UEFA Pro Licence, which is an integral part of their development as coaches.
"We have had the highest calibre of coaches complete the UEFA Pro Licence with the FAI and this group belong to that. I wish each of them the very best of luck in their respective football careers and I know that they will have a positive impact on the game going forward."
FAI High Performance Director Ruud Dokter said: "It’s fantastic to see a new group of coaches graduating from the UEFA Pro Licence course. This should not be taken lightly as the UEFA Pro Licence is the highest coaching certification in Europe and is recognised all around the world. The course is in line with modern-day coaching practices and UEFA guidelines and its holder is amongst a select group of the very best coaches.
"I have witnessed the hunger and dedication of the coaches to learn, be open and trying to improve every day. But the learning should not stop at this point. Football is evolving so quickly and coaches need to become life-long students of the game in order to further develop themselves.
"I would like to congratulate the coaches and wish them the very best of luck. I am sure Irish football will benefit from their respective skill-sets and experience. Also my congratulations go out to Niall O’Regan and his team of coach educators for the successful delivery of the course."
FAI Head of Coach Education Niall O'Regan said: "After 18 months of hard work, the coaches have finally reached the end of the course and I am delighted to see how each of them have developed as coaches and managers over the duration of the course. The work completed was top class and I am very excited to continue to track the next chapters of their coaching careers.
"The coaches worked extremely hard and challenged each to ensure that they created a dynamic, interactive and engaging learning environment. This was demonstrated when we visited UEFA HQ - which was highlighted by the coaches as a signature learning moment - as they demonstrated the highest level of competence by delivering presentations and coaching practices. It bodes well for the future of Irish football to have 18 more UEFA Pro Licence holders working at home and abroad.
"I am very proud of the group, and all they achieved during the course and I look forward to working with them in the Continuous Professional Development over the coming years."
A graduation ceremony for the 18 coaches has yet to be scheduled due to the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19.
FAI UEFA Pro Licence Graduates
2009: Paul Ashworth, Packie Bonner, Joe Boyle, Paul Clement, Tony Cousins, Pat Dolan, Paul Doolin, Pat Fenlon, John Gill, Don Givens, Brian Kerr, Mike Kerley, Noel King, Pete Mahon, Tony Mannion, Alan Mathews, John McDonnell, Noel O'Reilly
2011: Bobby Browne, Michael Browne, Liam Buckley, Paul Cook, Kenny Cunningham, John Devine, Tommy Dunne, Curtis Fleming, Eddie Gormley, Steve Harrison, Jeff Kenna, Harry McCue, Brendan Place, Damien Richardson, Martin Russell
2013: John Brennan, Gerry Carr, Mick Cooke, Trevor Croly, Declan Devine, Adrian Fitzpatrick, John Glynn, Shane Keegan, Harry Kenny, Keith Long, Dave Mackey, Paul O'Brien, Tom O'Connor, Pat Scully
2015: Stuart Ashton, John Caulfield, Dave Connell, Jason Donohue, Eileen Gleeson, Tommy Griffin, Niall Harrison, Owen Heary, Ollie Horgan, Robbie Horgan, Peter Hutton, Tom Mohan, Mick Neville, Colin O'Brien, Don O'Riordan, Sue Ronan, Leo Tierney
2018: Tommy Barrett, Stephen Bradley, Adrian Carberry, Jim Crawford, Gary Cronin, Ger Dunne, Stephen Henderson, Frank Kelleher, Gerard Nash, Graham O'Hanlon, Colin O'Neill, Paul Osam, Alan Reynolds, Greg Yelverton