Cork's Colin O'Brien and Tom Elmes appointed to new Head Coach roles with the FAI

Ireland Men's Under-17 Head Coach O'Brien will take over the Men's Under-18 team
Cork's Colin O'Brien and Tom Elmes appointed to new Head Coach roles with the FAI

Ireland Men's Under-17 Head Coach Colin O'Brien will take over the Men's Under-18 team.

THE Football Association of Ireland is delighted to confirm that Colin O'Brien and Tom Elmes will take up new Head Coach roles within the Republic of Ireland set-up.

Ireland Men's Under-17 Head Coach O'Brien will take over the Men's Under-18 team, while Elmes departs Wexford Youths in the SSE Airtricity Women's National League to lead the Women's Under-16 team.

O'Brien has been in charge of the Ireland Under-17s since August 2016 and enjoyed tremendous success with participation in three UEFA European Championships - reaching the quarter-finals in 2018.

During his time in charge, O'Brien has aided the development of several current Men's Senior Players including Gavin Bazunu, Lee O'Connor, Dara O'Shea, Jason Knight, Jayson Molumby, Adam Idah and Troy Parrott - all of whom are in Stephen Kenny's current squad.

A UEFA Pro Licence holder since 2015, O'Brien - who enjoyed a successful playing career in the League of Ireland, most notably with Cork City - will continue in his current role for the 2021/22 season alongside taking over the Under-18s with immediate effect.

O'Brien said: "I'm excited to take on a new challenge with the Ireland Men's Under-18 team, who will play a pivotal role in the development of our players at international level.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Under-17s, where three successive UEFA European Championships helped several players gain vital experience at a competitive level, which has held to them as they continue to progress in their careers.

"There is one more campaign to go with the Under-17s and we will host an Assessment Day later this month for the Under-17s. But the work with the Under-18s starts now and I'm very much looking forward to the months ahead."

Elmes, meanwhile, has been in charge of Wexford Youths since 2018, where he won the League, FAI Women's Cup and Shield treble in his very first season.

Wexford retained the FAI Women's Cup in 2019 while Elmes guided the team into UEFA Women's Champions League on two occasions. A key figure on the IT Carlow Sports Course, Elmes is currently part of the FAI's 2020/22 UEFA Pro Licence class but will go full-time with the FAI as part of this role.

Elmes said: "I’m delighted to be stepping into the Women's Under-16s Head Coach role, it’s a new challenge for me that I can’t wait to get started with.

"I would like to thank everyone at Wexford Youths for all their support over the years, I’m so fortunate to have worked with such a fantastic group of players.

"I’d also like to thank everyone in IT Carlow, during my time there I received a tremendous amount of support and it was a fantastic environment to work in.

"For now, it’s straight in to the deep end with an Assessment Day on Wednesday in the AUL Complex before we host a couple of friendly games in early July."

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