Republic of Ireland Head Coach Colin Bell has extended his contract with the Football Association of Ireland until 2021.
The FAI say that the team has enjoyed unprecedented success since Colin Bell’s appointment in February 2017, with Ireland currently second in their FIFA 2019 World Cup qualification group.
Wins over Northern Ireland and Slovakia were followed up with an impressive 0-0 draw at the home of the European Champions, the Netherlands, with home games against Slovakia and the Netherlands in April at Tallaght Stadium.
Since Colin Bell took charge last year, Ireland have only lost three out of the twelve games and have recorded impressive friendly victories over Portugal, Wales, Iceland and Czech Republic.
Bell told fai.ie: “It is a source of immense pride for me and my family to be the Head Coach of the national team, and I’m incredibly proud of the progress the team has made over the last 11 months.
“We’ve achieved some fantastic results so far, none more so than the draw against the European Champions, the Netherlands, in November. That result proves that this team can achieve at the highest level of international football and hopefully our progress over the next few years will lead to our first-ever appearance at a major tournament.
“Furthermore, in my role as Head Coach of the Women’s Under-17s side, I’ve been incredibly impressed and excited by the amount of talent in Ireland. We’ve recently seen the likes of Tyler Toland, Amy Boyle-Carr, Zara Foley and Eabha O’Mahony receive call-ups to the senior squad and that shows my commitment to progressing the talent we have in this country.”
Meanwhile, Bell has named a 20-player squad ahead for two U-17 friendly matches against Denmark at the FAI National Training Centre on 5th & 8th February, in preparation for their UEFA Elite Round matches in March against Germany, Azerbaijan and Iceland.
Republic of Ireland U-17 Squad
Goalkeepers: Rachel Kelly (Shelbourne), Courtney Maguire (Cabinteely)
Defenders: Eabha O’Mahony (Lakewood), Roisin McGovern (UCD Waves), Rachel O’Regan (Carrigaline), Harriet Lambe (Yeovil Town), Leah Brady (Lucan United), Doireann Fahey (Peamount United)
Midfielders: Megan Mackey (Chelsea), Tyler Toland (Maiden City), Jessica Ziu, Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne), Aoife Slattery (Ferrybank), Amy Boyle Carr (Sion Swifts), Lucia Lobato (Galway)
Forwards: Alannah McEvoy, Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Andrea Trill (Cregmore), Louise Masterson (Peamount United), Zara Foley (Lakewood)