Ronan returns to international coaching set-up
The experienced coach stepped down as Ireland Women's Senior Head Coach in September 2016 following a six-year period and will now embrace a new challenge to focus on the development of emerging players.
Ronan, who is a UEFA Pro Licence graduate, knows all about underage international football having started her coaching career with the first Ireland Women’s U16 squad back in 1994, before spending a decade coaching the WU19s, so she is very excited about this new role which links to her current position as the FAI's Head of Women's Football.
FAI High Performance Director Ruud Dokter believes Ronan's appointment is another step forward in further developing women's football considering her vast experience in the game.
"I would like to welcome Sue into this new role and wish her the very best of luck with it. As we prepare for the next international calendar of games, it is important to have someone leading the Women's Under 16s who knows how to bring players to the next level," said Dokter.
"Sue takes over from Sharon Boyle, who did an excellent job and helped many girls progress further in their careers. I'm confident that Sue can do exactly the same and instil the high performance culture that we are integrating into each of our international squads."
Ronan said: "It was always my ambition to return to coaching, I'm really looking forward to being back on the pitch again working with our best young players, setting them on a pathway that leads them to the Women’s National Team.
“Coaching the Women's Under 16 squad is a great challenge and one very much linked to the development side of the game, which is my current remit.
"Sharon did brilliantly with this age group over the last five years and I intend to pick up where she left off and continue to help our players develop technically and tactically. Paul Martyn joins me once again as assistant coach, his experience from his time with both the Women's National Team and other underage squads is vital.
“It’s an exciting time all round for women's football in Ireland and I believe that we are making tremendous progress in every area and will continue to achieve even more.
“A particular area of focus for the Association right now is upskilling female coaches. Seeing more of them work at the elite end of the game is something I’m very passionate about.
"Ultimately all coaches need experience and I plan to use my involvement with this age group as an opportunity to give them that experience by regularly inviting them into training camps to expose them to international football. This will help and encourage more of them to want to coach at the highest level in women’s football in the coming years.”
Frances Smith, FAI Council Representative, Women's Football Committee, said: "I'm delighted that someone of Sue's calibre and experience will take on the role of Head Coach for the Ireland Women's Under 16s.
"As Head of Women's Football, Sue's role also involves the development of players and coaches, and when working with the Under 16 squad she will have the opportunity to mentor both players and coaches. I wish her the very best with this role."