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Dublin: 18 °C Sunday 31 May, 2020

Ex-Derry City boss named Northern Ireland women's manager

Kenny Shiels takes over the role from Alfie Wylie.

Shiels alongside Northern Ireland captain Marissa Callaghan.
Shiels alongside Northern Ireland captain Marissa Callaghan.

KENNY SHIELS HAS been appointed manager of Northern Ireland’s senior women. 

The 63-year-old is vastly-experienced, having previously been in charge of the likes of Kilmarnock, Greenock Morton and Derry City. 

He has also worked with the Irish Football Association (IFA) in the past as Northern Ireland U17s boss — leading them to the 2004 European Championships — and takes over the position from Alfie Wylie, who took over as Head of Women’s Elite Performance. 

“I am extremely proud to have been appointed to this role and I am delighted to be manager of my country’s senior women’s international team,” Shiels said.

Women’s football is the fastest growing area of the game and it is hugely exciting to be taking up this role at this time.

“I want to do everything that I can to bring success to Northern Ireland. There is a lot of work to do but I am convinced that I can help this group of players compete and push for qualification for major tournaments.”

Kenny Shiels He managed Derry City as recently as 2018. Source: Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson added: “With the launch of our new women’s and girls’ strategy, the appointment of a new head of elite performance for women’s football and now a top-class women’s international team manager in place, I believe that the foundations are now in place to enable women’s football in Northern Ireland to move to the next level.

“Kenny Shiels is a fantastic coach with vast experience in the game. He has the necessary skill-set and knowledge to make a positive difference to our international side. I am excited about watching how he will develop our team and am confident he will help Northern Ireland be successful in the months and years to come.”

After finishing 10 points behind the Republic of Ireland in Group 3 of the 2019 World Cup qualification campaign, Northern Ireland have been drawn with Norway, Wales, Belarus and Faroe Islands for the Euro 2021 qualifiers, which begin later this year. 

Northern Ireland’s senior men’s team is currently managed by ex-Shamrock Rovers boss Michael O’Neill, while Ian Baraclough, formerly of Sligo Rovers, is in charge of their U21s. 

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Ben Blake

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