When Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane and former ROI international team mate and Shamrock Rovers winger Damien Duff hang up their boots to don the winter jacket on the sidelines, they can say they got a coaching start at IT Carlow.
The pair, who can count 243 Irish caps between them, returned to the classroom today as students at IT Carlow to complete their FAI and UEFA Coaching Diplomas that will eventually see the duo became professional coach/managers.
Keane and Duff joined IT Carlow’s BA Sport & Exercise (Soccer) students for an intense day of coach education. Keane is completing his UEFA A Diploma while Duff is undertaking UEFA B course work and assessments. The professional players participated in both theoretical work and a series of practical assessments on the Institute’s state-of-the-art, all-weather 4G soccer pitch. Overseeing their coaching was FAI Coach Education Tutor, Jason Donohue, supported by BA Sport & Exercise (Soccer) tutors and staff at IT Carlow. This is a return visit to IT Carlow for LA Galaxy’s Keane who undertook UEFA training at the campus in January, alongside former Chelsea goal-keeper Carlo Cudicini.
“I’d like to thank the combined team of the FAI, as well as Luke and the rest of the lecturers at IT Carlow for my training. It’s nice to have this professional qualification which I may put to good use when I eventually retire”, says Keane.
Professional sport on at the rise at Carlow IT
IT Carlow delivers degree courses in Sport & Exercise in conjunction with the FAI, IRFU Leinster Rugby and the GAA – the only sporting collaboration of its kind in Europe. The UEFA B Diploma is a key element of the BA Sport & Exercise (Soccer) degree course. It involves 60 hours of theory and practical sessions that have been tailored for elite players by the FAI’s Coach Education department using all of the latest coach education principals heralded by UEFA.