Dave Bell finds the Italian way of life more enjoyable on and off the pitch

Working in Iceland for several months, the former FAI Development officer for Cork could not settle into their way of life
Dave Bell finds the Italian way of life more enjoyable on and off the pitch

Dave Bell, FAI development officer for Cork and Erika Ni Thuama, FAI football enterprise co-ordinator with Cork City FC, enjoying the launch of the Cork City FC amputee team at the Cork International Hotel in Cork Airport.

AS one door closes, another one opens.

From Iceland to Italy former FAI development officer Dave Bell finds himself lucky to have landed a new role at a time when he felt his mental health was suffering.

After spending 15 years working in Ireland Bell made the brace move to go to Iceland to become Hermann Herasdisons assistant at IBV in the Icelandic premier league. 

And while it was a new journey for him, it was one that was cut short for many reasons. 

Here he tells us about the loneliness he endured but also about how life turned so quickly also.

“While in Iceland I coached Club IBV who are on a small Island in Iceland. 

"Living on a small Island for the first time in my life I struggled with loneliness which affected my mental health.

“At first, I found the long dark days hard to deal with and this was followed by days of no darkness which didn’t help my sleep patterns. 

"I also could not get used to climate change it is not a country you can wear your shorts all time which most people in Ireland usually saw me in. "It was not as easy as I first thought for my family to visit as you had a two and half hour's drive from the airport to the boat and then another 45 minutes with the boat to the Island, so I decided it was best to move back home. 

"They say things happen for a reason. I got a call from Marc Bircham telling me he had moved to Italy and Como 1907 and recommended me to Denis Wise the former Chelsea player who is the Como 1907 Chief Executive. 

"Denis had informed Marc that he wanted a Youth Team Coach. Denis then contacted me spoke with me offered me the position at the club, I happily accepted.

“I'm the U19 coach and we play in the Italian Primavera League which is a very competitive league. 

"The first team are in Serie B. Our most well-known player is Cesc Fabregas who has won everything in the game. 

"Cesc has just recently been doing his UEFA B licence. I have been lucky enough to help him design the sessions he has done and then come and coach some of the sessions with my youth players this has been a great experience for them. 

"Cesc is a lovely humble man who is a great role model to young players. I am so grateful to have been allowed to provide what help I could give him to attain his B licence.

“I love life in Italy, Como City is so beautiful you have to see it to believe it I live close to the lake, and most days take a walk around and pinch myself just to make sure I'm here. 

"The weather has also been great, it's the middle of November it's blue skies and 18 degrees today so I can't complain as that's a lot different to Iceland.

“I've only been gone from Ireland less than 12 months, so much seemed to have happened in this short time.” 

Bell is best known for his time with International squads and he was delighted to see the girls qualify for the World Cup.

“It is brilliant for the girls to qualify for the world cup, a great achievement. Many girls were in the squads in which Dave Connell and myself were involved. 

"We had some great times with the girls. People may forget that the U19s got to the semi-finals of the European Championships. 

"Captain Katie McCabe and Megan Connolly were a big part of our team, many others are in the squad today through the years as part of our squads. 

"The most important one to me is Denise O Sullivan, whom I always remember devastated and crying when we failed to qualify for the finals in our last game of the elites at the U19 level. 

"I knew how much it meant to her and how dedicated she was then so she kept that dream and dedication throughout her career, she deserves this so much I'm so happy for her and hope she can now show the world what a world-class player she is. 

"As for me, I loved every minute I had coaching the girls at U16 17 and 19 levels, I hope the girls loved their time with us, we had some great times I will never forget.” 

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