• Home
  • /
  • Football
  • /
  • 10 Former Ireland Players You Might Not Know Have Moved Into Coaching

10 Former Ireland Players You Might Not Know Have Moved Into Coaching

10 Former Ireland Players You Might Not Know Have Moved Into Coaching
By Gary Connaughton Updated
Share this article

It is hugely encouraging to see that quite a few big names from Ireland's recent past have made the move into coaching.

Damien Duff, John O'Shea, and Keith Andrew have all been part of Stephen Kenny's coaching staff under Ireland, with the former now doing an excellent job as manager of Shelbourne.

The likes of Shay Given, Robbie Keane, Lee Carsley, and Steven Reid are also among those to hold various jobs at both club and International level.

While those coaching moves have been well documented, some other former Ireland internationals may have slipped somewhat under the radar after taking the next step in their careers.

Here are a few examples.

10 former Ireland players that moved into coaching

Liam Lawrence

Liam Lawrence earned 15 caps for Ireland from 2009-2011, having successful spells at Sunderland, Stoke City, and Portsmouth around this period. He would go on to play for the likes of PAOK, Barnsley, and Bristol Rovers before retiring in 2017.

Since hanging up his boots, the former winger earned his UEFA A coaching licence and works as a full-time coach at the Stoke City academy.



David Meyler

18 November 2019; Republic of Ireland assistant coach David Meyler before the UEFA Under-17 European Championship Qualifier match between Republic of Ireland and Israel at Turner's Cross in Cork. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

David Meyler was forced to draw playing career to a close at a much younger age than he would have liked, retiring at the age of 30 in 2019 due to persistent injury problems.

He has made the move into coaching since then, joining former club Hull City where he is currently working with their U15 team. The ex-midfielder has also spent time in the Ireland setup, most recently with the U17s.



Marc Wilson

Despite the fact that the last of his 25 Ireland caps came back in 2016, Marc Wilson was still playing professional football up until the end of last year. The Antrim native hung up his boots after a couple of seasons in Icelandic football.

It was here that he would also take his first steps as a coach, joining Þróttur Vogum as a player/coach in 2021 to link up with former Portsmouth teammate Hermann Hreiðarsson. He would follow him to IBV soon after to fulfil the same role.

Paul Green

Another player who might have retired far more recently than you might have thought, 39-year old Paul Green was still playing up until 2022. Having spent a couple of years at Boston United, he would finally bring his playing career to an end after a handful of appearances for Worksop Town in the English eighth tier.


Green briefly acted as the interim manager during his time at Boston United and has since taken up a coaching role with former club Doncaster Rovers in League Two.

Andy Reid

9 July 2019; Andy Reid, UEFA Pro Licence student, during a UEFA Pro Licence Course at Johnstown House in Enfield, Meath. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

One of the most technically gifted Irish players of his generation, Andy Reid probably should have earned more than his tally of 29 Ireland caps.

A beloved figure at Nottingham Forest having made over 280 appearances for the club across two spells, he would also start his coaching career at the City Ground. He joined their academy coaching team in 2020, eventually being appointed as the club's U23 manager. At the start of last season, he was promoted to the first team coaching staff ahead of their return to the Premier League.

Nick Colgan

Nick Colgan earned nine caps as a goalkeeper for Ireland from 2002-2007, being included in quite a few squads as backup to Shay Given. He retired from playing in 2013 and has since taken up quite a few roles in coaching.


He acted as goalkeeping coach at Huddersfield Town for a period, before filling a similar role at Wigan Athletic. He would also have a spell under Chris Hughton at Nottingham Forest, before joining Stockport County earlier this season.

Alan Maybury

Alan Maybury played ten time for Ireland from 1998-2005, a number many would have expected to be far higher considering the potential he showed when coming through at Leeds United. He would go on to spend much of his career in Scottish football, eventually retiring in 2015.

He had taken coaching roles while still playing at the likes of Hibernian and Falkrirk and since retirement spent time at Kilmarnock and St Johnston. He took his first management role last year, helping Edinburgh to earn promotion to Scottish League One via the play-offs.

Darren Potter

A five-cap Ireland international, Merseyside native Darren Potter came through the system at Liverpool but would only make two Premier League appearances for the club. He would go on to spend his career in the English lower leagues before retiring in 2020.

He would join Port Vale as an academy coach at the point, moving to Stoke City in 2021 where he is still currently employed.


Darren O'Dea

Darren O'Dea had quite the journey during his playing career, going from Celtic, to Toronto FC, to Ukraine's Metalurh Donetsk, to Mumbai City before eventually retiring in 2019.

He quickly moved into coaching at this point, managing the Motherwell U18s before taking over Celtic's team in the same age bracket. Since 2021, he has been the manager of the Celtic 'B' team and play a pivotal role in their player development programme.


Kevin Foley

Kevin Foley earned eight caps for Ireland under Giovanni Trapattoni, with his international career ending on bad terms after he was excluded from the squad for Euro 2012. He would continue to play at club level up until his retirement in 2018 after a spell at Billericay Town.

Foley would link up with former Wolves teammate Neill Collins as a coach with Tampa Bay Rowdies in 2020, before taking a role with Forest Green Rovers in 2022. Having left the League Two club at the end of the campaign, he currently works for Brackley Town in the English sixth tier alongside another former teammate in Roger Johnson.

SEE ALSO: Selecting An XI Of Republic Of Ireland One-Cap Wonders

Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are subscribed now!

Share this article

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com