Andy Waterworth is to take charge of the Northern Ireland senior women’s team for their friendly against Wales next month, it was announced today.
Waterworth, who is Head of Elite Player Development at the Irish Football Association, will act as the interim manager of the team following the departure of Kenny Shiels earlier this year.
Northern Ireland are set to face Wales in an international challenge match on Thursday 6 April at the Cardiff City Stadium (7.15pm start).
Former senior international players Aaron Hughes and Roy Carroll will also be involved next month. Hughes is set to be the interim senior coach, while Carroll is the interim goalkeeping coach.
The Irish FA’s Director of Women’s Football, Angela Platt, said: “I am delighted to have the support from Andy leading in this interim phase with the senior women’s programme until we complete our recruitment process for the new senior women’s team manager.
“It will provide a great opportunity for the players to learn from Andy, Aaron and Roy in preparation for what will no doubt be a tough game against Wales.”
Waterworth, who also heads up the Irish FA JD Academy and played for Northern Ireland at both U19 and U21 level, first earned a coaching qualification back in 2002, attaining a Level 1 certificate (now National Coaching Certificate). He completed his UEFA Pro Licence in 2020.
The former Kilmore Rec, Ards, Lisburn Distillery, Hamilton Academical, Glentoran, Linfield and Glenavon forward notched up more than 200 goals in the Irish League. The 36-year-old was one of the Irish League’s top strikers during an eight-year goal-laden and trophy-laden spell at Linfield.
Hughes, who had earned a then record 112 outfield international caps by the time he retired in June 2019, is a senior coach in the Northern Ireland senior men’s team set-up.
Since retiring from the game the 43-year-old has been concentrating on attaining his coaching badges and learning about all aspects of the game.
In March 2021 he joined the Irish FA as Elite Football Development Consultant to help develop talent and guide strategy.
Back in November he was appointed as the association’s first Technical Director with the remit to focus on the continuous improvement of elite football through the creation of a high performance culture. The role covers men’s and women’s football.
Carroll (45) was goalkeeping coach with the senior men’s team under the now departed Ian Baraclough.
The former Manchester United, West Ham United and Wigan Athletic keeper, who won 45 caps for his country, has been working with young keepers on the Irish FA’s elite pathway programme in recent times, including keepers at the JD-sponsored Irish FA Academy in collaboration with UEFA based at Ulster University’s Jordanstown campus.
Next month’s match in Cardiff will be part of preparations for the new UEFA Nations League campaign that will get under way in September.
Northern Ireland last faced Wales (home and away) in the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 qualifying campaign, with the sides drawing on both occasions.