Ireland Women's Manager appointed Huddersfield assistant
Written by Simon Austin — July 1, 2019
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND Women’s Manager Colin Bell has been appointed assistant at Huddersfield Town.
The 57-year-old replaces Andreas Winkler, who has left after less than six months in post. Terriers boss Jan Siewert, who also took over in January and saw the club relegated to the Championship, knows Bell from their time working in Germany.
“He (Bell) has a fantastic reputation in Germany as a top-quality coach, that he’s really earned," Siewert said. "He’s been a Head Coach, a supporting coach and the head of Academies at very high levels and can offer us so much.
“We first met when he was at TuS Koblenz and he was a big help to me early in my coaching career. We’ve kept in touch ever since and I’m delighted he has accepted the offer to come and help us here at Huddersfield Town.
“Not only is he a great coach, but he will also be great around the players on a day-to-day basis. I’m really excited to have him with us at PPG Canalside.”
Bell took over Ireland's Women in February 2017 and there has been criticism of his departure before the end of the his contract.
Bell countered by saying: “I had a fantastic offer [from Huddersfield] which I declined, then Huddersfield made a better offer and then I told the FAI what was going on. The question then was ‘What do we have to do to keep you?’
“So we went through a few things and had some really good conversations. I made a list of things I thought needed to be done, and how my position should then be defined. We were speaking about over the next four years.
“The women’s national team has come on in leaps and bounds, but still, I was a little bit frustrated that work on the actual structures of underage football and the Women’s National League was going too slow, and I think I had a good plan in place to improve that.
“I was told, basically, that things would carry on as they were to start off with, and then we’d see what happened, but that wasn’t good enough for me. I want progression at every level, and I think I would have been able to really, really grow the game.”
In a statement released on Sunday evening, the FAI said it had been unable to meet Bell’s "financial and other demands".
“The FAI were first informed last weekend by Colin of the offer from Huddersfield Town and immediately began discussions to determine whether or not the FAI could facilitate Colin’s requirements in order for him to remain,” the association said.
“Following talks held between Colin and senior representatives of the Association, the Board discussed Colin’s financial and other demands at a meeting on Thursday night but, given the current circumstances around the Association, the Board decided that it was not in a position to agree to his terms to stay at this point in time.
“When informed of the Board’s decision, Colin confirmed to the FAI that he would resign from his position in order to take up the Huddersfield Town offer.”
GERMANY, WOMEN'S FOOTBALL AND JURGEN KLOPP
Bell has had a remarkable professional journey. He was born in Leicester and signed professional forms with his hometown club as a defender, but failed to make the grade and relocated to Germany at the age of 20.
His playing career was inauspicious, although he did make 40 appearances for Mainz before retiring early. Coaching was his true vocation and he is the first Englishman to gain all his coaching badges in Germany.
Bell was Head Coach of TuS Koblenz for seven years; assistant at FC Köln from 1996 to 1999; boss of Dynamo Dresden in East Germany and worked alongside Jurgen Klopp as reserve boss at FSV Mainz 05. He also ran Koblenz's Academy for several years.
In 2006, he made the highly unusual move from the men's to women’s game, taking over at Bad Neuenahr. Success with the minnows - he led a side that had looked doomed to safety - resulted in a move to powerhouses Frankfurt.
With Bell at the helm, the team won both the German Cup and Champion’s League in 2005 and the Englishman made the 10-strong shortlist for Fifa Women’s World Coach of the Year.
He was appointed Head Coach of the Republic of Ireland Women in February 2017 and following his exit for Huddersfield this weekend, FAI High Performance Director Ruud Dokter said: "Colin has done a fantastic job in his time with Ireland and I want to thank him for that.
"He has introduced new players to international football and brought our team to a new place.
"The World Cup qualifying campaign saw him bed in his ideas very quickly and the players responded with high level performances.
“His passion, commitment and desire to develop women’s football in Ireland was exemplary and I wish him well at Huddersfield. The challenge now for the new management and the players is to qualify for the European Championships"
In an interview in 2015, Bell explained his philosophy.
"Open your eyes, your heart and horizons," he said. "Life takes you on all sorts of different paths and journeys and sometimes you have to go with the flow and see where it takes you."