It all starts somewhere and the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team are recognising their roots in a new coaching initiative that will benefit 40 grassroots clubs around the country.

The players are in camp preparing for an international doubleheader against Denmark (April 8) and Belgium (April 11), have given their support to this new initiative whereby a UEFA C Licence programme will be rolled out to coaches working at the grassroots of the game.

Amongst the 24 players in Vera Pauw’s squad, there are over 40 clubs that will benefit, from 10 different counties, all of whom helped shape their development through coaching from dedicated volunteers.

Ireland captain Katie McCabe, who is currently undergoing her UEFA B Licence with the FAI, said: “It is really important to all of the players in the Ireland Women’s Team that we never forget those who have helped us to reach this level in our respective careers.

“Every player starts out at their local Grassroots club and goes from there. For me, it was Kilnamanagh AFC before moving on to Crumlin United, Templeogue United, St Joseph’s, and then Raheny United. It is vital that the coaches at that level are given support to be the best that they can be and the UEFA C Licence will reward the hours that they put into it.”

“There is fantastic work being done by the FAI Coach Education Department to continue to develop coaches, at all levels, who in turn help to develop players. So seeing this initiative happen indicates that Irish football is moving in the right direction in supporting Grassroots clubs.”

“Over the last number of years, UEFA has helped develop the profession of coaching to new lengths and it is now great for our Grassroots coaches to be able to experience and be certified with a UEFA Qualification,” added FAI Head of Coach Education Niall O’Regan.

“In the coming months, we will begin the process of delivering the newly created UEFA C Licence and UEFA Leaders Award which is directly aligned to our Club Mark programme and these UEFA Qualifications will be recognised as the pinnacle of Grassroots coach education here and throughout the world.

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Sport for Business Partners