Former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Alan Mannus has been appointed as the Irish FA’s Goalkeeping Coach Educator.
In the role Mannus will develop the goalkeeping coaching pathway to support coaches at all levels of the game within Northern Ireland.
Sean-Paul Murray, Head of Coach Education with the association, said: “Alan joins us with a wealth of high performance experience, having played at the highest level of the game, including nine senior caps for Northern Ireland.
“This is a newly created role that will complement the Coach Education Department and the development of goalkeeping coaching at all levels.”
Mannus said he was delighted to be taking up the position with the association.
He pointed out: “I believe good coaching is essential when developing players and I will be aiming to use my experience to help goalkeeping coaches from Northern Ireland and beyond to improve standards and practices, which in turn will help to develop players.”
And he added: "I have always intended to give something back and do my part in helping to develop goalkeepers in Northern Ireland. Having gone through the process myself I understand the challenges they face, and I am confident that I can help them develop to reach their potential."
The former Northern Ireland international began his playing career with Linfield, for whom he made 366 appearances between 2000 and 2009 and managed to score one goal – against Omagh Town.
With the Blues he won four league titles, four Irish Cups, a Setanta Cup, two League Cups, four County Antrim Shields and he was voted Ulster Footballer of the Year in 2007-08.
Next stop was Shamrock Rovers in the League of Ireland where he played under current Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill. He featured 79 times for the Dublin outfit between 2009 and 2011.
From there Mannus moved to the Scottish top flight with St Johnstone, making 226 appearances between 2011 and 2018. He helped the Perth side to win the Scottish Cup in 2014.
He returned to Shamrock Rovers in 2018 and has played a further 183 games for them since then. Across his two spells in Tallaght he has won won five League of Ireland Premier League titles, an FAI Cup and a Setanta Cup. He also played in the group stages of the Europa Conference League last year.
And the 40-year-old stopper will continue to play for Shamrock Rovers during the forthcoming League of Ireland Premier Division season.
On the international front Mannus made nine senior appearances for Northern Ireland between 2004 and 2016.