FAI hire Bell to ring in new era for Ireland women's team
The FAI have looked outside Ireland to appoint the new manager of their women's senior team by drafting in Englishman Colin Bell.
Bell (56) arrives with an impressive track record after achieving success in Germany where he moved into coaching after finishing up his playing career with Mainz. The Leicester native managed a variety of men's teams in the coaching field before moving into women's football in 2011.
He enjoyed his finest hour with FFC Frankfurt where he won the German Cup in 2014 and the Champions League a year later.
Bell replaces Sue Ronan who has moved into a broader role as head of women's football. Ireland are currently ranked 34th in the world and have never qualified for a major tournament and Bell says that challenge attracts him. He joins from German side SC Side after a brief spell in Norway.
"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."
FAI CEO John Delaney said Bell's capture will allow Ireland to compete with the best teams in Europe.