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Women's Champions League winning-manager named as new Ireland boss

Colin Bell will begin his new role as Sue Ronan’s replacement from Monday, it has been announced this morning.

Bell with the Ireland shirt.
Bell with the Ireland shirt.
Image: Twitter/FAIreland

THE FAI HAVE this morning revealed the identity of the new Ireland senior women’s team manager.

Englishman Colin Bell will depart his current job at German club SC Sand and take up the position from next Monday.

The 55-year-old began his playing career at Leicester City and although he didn’t break into the first team, Bell went on to play for FSV Mainz 05 before going into coaching.

He worked as reserve team manager at Mainz during Jurgen Klopp’s time in charge there, but his biggest achievements have come in women’s football.

Bell won the German Women’s Cup (the DFB-Pokal der Frauen) with FFC Frankfurt and then led them to glory in the Uefa Women’s Champions League in 2015.

He replaces Sue Ronan, who stepped down in September after a six-year spell to become the FAI’s head of women’s football, and qualifying for a major tournament for the first time will be his aim.

Ireland take part in the Cyprus Cup at the end of this month, before the 2019 World Cup qualifiers begin in September. Their next home game will be a friendly against Slovakia on Monday 10 April at Tallaght Stadium.

“I’m very proud to be given this opportunity to lead the Republic of Ireland Women’s senior team and I regard it as a big honour,” said Bell.

“I will do my very best to help women’s football in Ireland continue to grow and to make it more attractive to young girls, who can have the dream of playing football at a high level.

I want to help the Women’s senior team to become role models for young girls to look up to and I want to instil the values of the FAI into this job as I aim to be as successful as I can be.

“It is a dream come true to be given the opportunity to become a national team coach and it is something during my 27 years coaching that I always wanted to be. Now, I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Germany Soccer Women Champions League Bell won the Women's Champions League with FFC Frankfurt. Source: AP/Press Association Images

FAI CEO John Delaney added: “We have made huge strides in the development of women’s football, particularly at underage level and with our Emerging Talent Programme, but it’s time to take that next step at senior level,”

“Recently, the FAI have made some really important appointments at international level and Colin’s arrival continues that trend as we maintain our pursuit for excellence with each of our teams and to qualify for major tournaments.

“Colin will bring a fresh approach and a winning mentality, so I’m looking forward to the years ahead with Colin in charge of the Women’s Senior Team.”

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Ben Blake

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