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Noel King takes charge of Shelbourne's WNL team ahead of 2021 season

Shels finished the 2020 campaign as runners-up, five points behind champions Peamount.

King: targeting Shels' first WNL title since 2016.
King: targeting Shels' first WNL title since 2016.
Image: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

SHELBOURNE CEO DAVE O’Connor hailed the appointment of Noel King as Women’s National League team manager as a “statement of intent”.

King will take charge of Shels WNL side for the 2021 campaign, replacing Dave Bell following his departure earlier this month.

King spent almost a decade in charge of Ireland’s Women’s National Team from 2000 to 2010 before taking over as men’s U21 manager, while his long-standing involvement with the FAI also included a brief stint as caretaker manager of the men’s senior national team.

Speaking to Shelbourne’s The 1895 Podcast, King immediately set his sights on reining in WNL champions Peamount United and bringing the league title back to Tolka Park for the first time since 2016.

Shels finished in second place, five points adrift, in the Covid-curtailed 2020 campaign which was reduced to just 12 games.

“It’s a good solid strong team but obviously the aim is to pull back Peamount and that’s going to be a difficult task,” King said. “I’m really looking forward to it.

There’s a lot of structures in place but sometimes the hardest step is to turn runners-up into first place and that’s the challenge, to make that step.

“The club is steeped in the tradition of football so when you start thinking of men’s football, you think of Shelbourne and that’s the way it should be.

“Now when you think of women’s football in Ireland you can think of Shelbourne too.

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“I am incredibly excited to be able to welcome Noel to our club today,” Shels CEO O’Connor said.

This announcement is a statement of intent from the club in relation to how seriously we actually support our female teams at the club.

“Often, the support for women’s and girls’ football can amount to little more than PR exercises but Shels have taken initiatives that show that the club is serious, including a complete reorganisation of the club to fully integrate the female operations.

“We are really looking forward to working with Noel in continuing to move forward in this direction.”

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Niall Kelly

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