Phil McNamara named Women’s Head Coach

Feb 26, 2024 | All News, Club News, Womens

We are delighted to announce that Phil McNamara has taken up the position as Head Coach of our women’s first team ahead of the 2024 Sports Direct Women’s Premiership season.

The role is in addition to Donald Malomo-Paris being named first team manager, while Helen McKenna remains as a coach alongside Bradley McAdam who continues in his position as Goalkeeper Coach. Former player Aimee Shiels is set to make the transition into coaching and William Noble has taken up the position as Women’s Head of Recruitment to complete the backroom staff.

Formerly a player with the Inver Reds, McNamara returns to Inver Park with a wealth of experience having coached close to 500 games at women’s university level in the United States.

With over 300 of these games taking place within the NCAA D1 structure, McNamara boasts a winning record in the States which includes 11 league titles, 8 league cups and 3 regional titles, a feat which has led to him being selected as the division’s Coach of the Year on eight separate occasions.

Alongside winning on the pitch, McNamara has played a key role in providing opportunities for more than 100 international players to make the move and play their sport in the United States, many of whom were youth and full international players.

As the club aims to enhance player pathways across the women’s game at Inver Park, McNamara and our other senior coaches will be heavily involved in both our women’s first team and U19 set-ups throughout the 2024 season and beyond, with the aim to build an improved connection and greater player pathways between the senior squad and the girls academy.

Discussing his new role at the club, McNamara commented:

“I am delighted to be here and part of Larne Football Club. It is an interesting project and I am eager to get started with the players. There is a massive challenge and amount of work to be done in order to raise the standards and become a top team in the Premiership. It is a healthy and hopefully a rewarding journey for the club.


“Following meetings with Kenny, Tiernan and Niall I agreed with their vision for the club moving forward and the positive impact that will include for the Women’s Program. We have a three-year plan in mind which we will keep updating and improving throughout the process. Now the hard work begins to deliver the plan for the players, supporters and the Larne community.


“The NI Women’s Football league has really improved this past 3-5 years including both the players and coaching standards. I believe Larne can play a big part in continuing to change and improve the landscape towards a more professional model for female players here in Northern Ireland.


“The immediate short-term goal is to work and improve the levels of play already at the club. This will include improving all aspects of both the training and game environments. I must say the players have already responded in a fantastic fashion. There is certainly talent and quality throughout the ranks and look forward to challenging them in a positive direction. There are some existing gaps age and numbers wise within the 1st team which needs strengthening in the near future.


“It is important similar to the men’s side of the club that the best female players in Northern Ireland look at Larne FC as a top club and somewhere they can either enjoy a successful career or provide a pathway to the next level whether that be in the USA at the University level or in Scotland or England as a full time footballer.


“I look forward to working with Donald, Helen, William, Aimee and Bradley on this challenge!”

Other Women’s Team News