20 coaches confirmed for FAI UEFA Pro Licence course

20 coaches confirmed for FAI UEFA Pro Licence course

The seventh version of the UEFA Pro Licence course run by the Football Association of Ireland will see 20 participants set about earning the highest coaching qualification in football.

The 2023/24 UEFA Pro Licence participants are:
Tim Corcoran, Martin Doyle, William Doyle, Gerard Glynn, James Gow, Colin Healy, Gary Hunt, Laura Heffernan, George Jermy, Paul McShane, Leon McSweeney, David Meyler, Andy Myler, Conor Nestor, James O’Callaghan, Stephen O’Donnell, Gavin Peers, Craig Sexton, Sean St. Ledger, Glenn Whelan

Former Republic of Ireland internationals Colin Healy, David Meyler, Paul McShane, Sean St. Ledger and Glenn Whelan – who collectively made 200 senior appearances – will be part of the Class of 2024.

There is also League of Ireland representation, with Cork City manager Healy joined by Dundalk’s Stephen O’Donnell, UCD’s Andy Myler, Longford Town assistant coach Gavin Peers, Bohemians Head of Youth Development Craig Sexton, Waterford assistant coach Gary Hunt, Peamount United’s James O’Callaghan and DLR Waves assistant coach Laura Heffernan.

Wexford native Heffernan becomes the third woman to take part in this course with the FAI, following on from former Ireland WNT Head Coach Sue Ronan and current FAI Head of Women and Girls’ Football Eileen Gleeson.

Over 70 different coaches applied for the course and amongst the successful candidates are coaches working in international football and club football abroad in England, Spain and Cambodia. They will seek to join the 116 coaches who have successfully earned the UEFA Pro Licence through this course run by the FAI.

FAI Head of Coach Education Niall O’Regan said: “We are delighted to announce the 20 coaches who have successfully completed the application process for the 2023-2024 UEFA Pro Licence. The process has been ongoing since September 2022 and has seen over 70 applicants work through multiple stages culminating in the course interviews in January 2023. We are delighted to welcome 19 men and one woman to the group.

“The course has an excellent blend of playing, coaching and management experience, with five former internationals, current League of Ireland coaches, International coaches and coaches working across Ireland, England, Spain and as far as Cambodia with former FAI staff member Conor Nestor as Head Coach in Svay Reing.

“The course will see the coaches working for 18 months with the FAI Coach Education Department, taking them through each of the course requirements, which will include individual learning, micro group activities, club visits, international club visits, student exchanges in UEFA and a personal learning portfolio of all course assignments. We look forward to working with them, mentoring and developing them to assist them in their continued career in the game.”

All candidates have completed their prior learning and formal education with the FAI, working with the Coach Education Department to complete the UEFA B & A Licence courses, while 11 of the candidates attainted the Elite Youth A Licence.

FAI Director of Football Marc Canham said: “We are excited to welcome the 20 successful candidates to the 2023/24 UEFA Pro Licence course, which is the highest qualification that can be achieved in coaching.

“Coach development is an integral part of what we do at the FAI and the rapidly growing talent pool in this area is reflected not only in the 20 candidates selected for this course but also in the quality of coaches who applied for it. We are confident that Irish football has more better skilled coaches than ever before but we must continue to work with them and help to assist their coaching journey."

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