Nominations open for Noel O'Reilly Coach of the Year Award
Named in honour of coaching legend and FAI Coach Educator Noel O’Reilly, the award is open to coaches in a volunteer position in their respective clubs.
Nominations can be made by an individual or a club with the nomination process requiring a letter outlining the coach’s role, experience and suitability. All nominations are to be sent by email to FAI Head of Coach Education Niall O’Regan at email@example.com by 1pm on Tuesday, January 31st next.
An FAI adjudication committee will select the winner who will be invited to receive their award at a presentation ceremony to close the FAI Women’s Football Conference in February.
The award pays tribute to the coaching career of Noel O’Reilly who worked alongside Brian Kerr as Ireland famously captured the UEFA Under 18 and Under 16 European Championship titles in 1998. Belvedere legend and FAI staff member Noel, who died in 2008, also worked with Brian Kerr with both the Irish senior team and St Patrick’s Athletic.
FAI Senior National Coach Educator Tom O’Connor, who worked with Noel for many years, said: “That this award is being revived and presented at our FAI Women’s Football Conference in Donegal is a fitting tribute to Noel. His legacy lives on through the many coaches and players he influenced who are working across all strands of Irish football and I know they will all be delighted that Noel is being honoured in this manner, 14 years after his death.”
FAI Head of Coach Education Niall O’Regan said: “Noel’s amazing impact on Irish players and coaches is well known by all of us in the game. It is a great honour for all of us in the FAI’s Coach Education department to be able to include the award presentation as part of our FAI Women’s Football Conference. I know all present next February will take great pride in honouring Noel O’Reilly on the day.”
FAI Grassroots Director Ger McDermott added: “There isn’t a week goes by that a Grassroots coach somewhere in Ireland doesn’t reference Noel O’Reilly and his great influence on them during their coach education. That in itself is testament to his outstanding qualities as an educator and as a man – Noel fully deserves to be remembered with this award and the winner can be proud of their achievement as they will be honouring one of the greats of Irish football.”
Watch the full interview with Tom O'Connor here