Sunday 11 December 2016

Sue Ronan steps down as head coach of the Republic of Ireland women's team

Published 26/09/2016 | 16:40

Sue Ronan
Sue Ronan

Sue Ronan will step down as Head Coach of the Republic of Ireland Women's Senior International Team in order to put her entire focus into her role as Head of Women's Football for the Football Association of Ireland.

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This new role, which was introduced last year as part of major changes to the governance and organisation of women's football, will allow Ronan to concentrate fully on ensuring the delivery of all the objectives of the FAI Women's Strategic Plan.

Ronan's career as Head Coach of the national team spans over the last six years, and included three major qualifying campaigns, which will come to an end in November this year.

Following 10 years as Women's Under 19 Head Coach, she took over the senior team in October 2010, leading up to UEFA Women's EURO 2013, where Ireland concluded the campaign with a fourth place finish in Group 4, which contained France.

In the qualifying campaign for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, Ireland finished third in their group behind Germany and Russia. And the team finished fourth in Group 2 for UEFA Women's EURO 2017, following their 1-0 defeat to Portugal on September 20.

Speaking today Ronan said she believes that the Women's Senior Team is in a strong position for a bright future.

"It has been an absolute honour to have had the opportunity to manage my country for the last six years," said Ronan.

"While we unfortunately haven't achieved our goal of qualifying for a final tournament, it has been a pleasure working with a such a group of dedicated players who have always given their all to me personally and for the green jersey.

"I feel with the experience we now have in this squad, along with the quality of youngsters currently on our underage teams, the future looks very bright and will ultimately lead us to that goal of playing amongst the elite of Europe at a major finals.

"In my role as Head of Women's Football I will be striving to put the structures in place that are absolutely necessary for this team to take that next step, so it's an exciting chapter in my career.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank my staff for all their efforts and commitment and I look forward to working with the players and new management team in my role going forward."

FAI High Performance Director Ruud Dokter paid tribute to Ronan and believes that her contribution to the Women's Senior Team has been significant over recent years.

"I would like to firstly thank Sue for her excellent work over the last number of years. She developed the Women's Team to a professional standard and I want to congratulate her for the impact that she continues to have on Women's football in Ireland," said Dokter.

"Sue works hard to improve all aspects of what is required to represent Ireland at international level and that work has provided a benchmark for all young players to aspire to.

"Sue is a big influence in all areas of Women's football and I look forward to working more closely with her to help achieve the aims set out in the FAI Women's Strategic Plan."

FAI CEO John Delaney said that Ronan is a "driving force in the women's game".

"Women's football has made tremendous strides in Ireland over recent years thanks to the hard work of coaches, administrators, officials, volunteers, and people like Sue Ronan," said Delaney.

"Ireland is now recognised as one of the most improved nations in Europe when it comes to women's football and Sue will continue to play a big part in that.

"From her work with the Women's Senior Team to her championing of the Continental Tyres Women's National League, she has been at the forefront of the development of the game.

"I have no doubt that Sue will continue to be a driving force in the women's game in her role as Head of Women's Football."

Chairperson of the Women's Football Committee, Niamh O'Donoghue said that she is looking forward to working with Ronan for what will be an "exciting time" for the development of the Women's game.

"I'd like to pay tribute to Sue's achievements with both the Under 19 squad and the Senior Women's Team during her time as Head Coach. She brings a fantastic level of understanding and expertise to the role and was responsible for introducing new structures and approaches which added enormously to the professionalism of the squads," said O'Donoghue.

"I am genuinely delighted that Sue's expertise will now be fully available to us in helping to develop the Women's game. I look forward to continuing to work with her in what will be an extremely exciting time for the development of the game here."

A former Ireland international and FAI Women's Player of the Year, Ronan has played a key role in bringing Women's football to a higher standard and been responsible for integrating a new generation of young players into the senior set-up.

Ronan's final game as Head Coach will be a friendly against Basque Country XI in Tallaght Stadium on Saturday, November 26.

The recruitment process for a new Head Coach of the Ireland Women's Senior Team will commence shortly and it is expected that an appointment will be made later this year.

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