Belfast Telegraph

Kenny Shiels appointed manager of Northern Ireland women's team

New challenge: Kenny Shiels is the new NI Women's boss
New challenge: Kenny Shiels is the new NI Women's boss

Former Derry City manager Kenny Shiels has been appointed the new manager of the Northern Ireland women's team.

The 63-year-old replaces Alfie Wylie in the role, with the former boss moving to a new job as Head of Women's Elite Performance with the IFA.

Veteran boss Shiels has no shortage of experience having coached at the likes of Kilmarnock and Greenock Morton in Scotland, as well as Derry in the League of Ireland.

Following a successful playing career that saw him represent Coleraine, Lisburn Distillery and Ballymena United, the Magherafelt man turned to management and has excelled.

This is not the first time Shiels has coached with the IFA, leading the Northern Ireland Under-17s side for eight years and consistently leading them for the European Championships in that time.

In 2012, Shiels won the Scottish League Cup with Kilmarnock, while he also led Derry to the EA Sports Cup last season.

"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. 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," commented Shiels.

“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."

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.”

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