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The Union of European Football Associations 2020 Coaching Convention Update and Coach Education in the Football Association of Ireland

Seamus Kelly and Niall O’Regan

This article explores how the 2020 edition of the Union of European Football Association’s (UEFA) Coaching Convention impacts coach education in the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), a member of the UEFA. First, this article provides a brief history of the UEFA Coaching Convention and it’s historical benefits. Second, the UEFA Coaching Convention’s principles and practices of adult learning and reality-based learning are identified, along with the national association’s responsibilities for their implementation. Third, we outline the four main changes to the 2020 UEFA Coaching Convention, and fourth, following an overview of coach education in the FAI, we identify how the FAI’s Coach Education Department adopts a constructivist, learner-centered approach when implementing the UEFA adult learning and reality-based learning principles. Fifth, we discuss some of the implemented and planned coach education initiatives in the FAI and provide an overview of the FAI’s redeveloped coach education pathway, which was launched in August 2020 for implementation from 2021 to 2025. The article concludes with an overview of the future of coach education in the FAI and suggestions for further research.