Mick Cooke recalls past experience of managing Ireland's women's national team

He was in charge of numerous age groups for a decade until 2002

Mick Cooke recalls past experience of managing Ireland's women's national team

Mick Cooke managing the Ireland women's team in 1997 © INPHO / Lorraine O'Sullivan

Late last night, the FAI announced that mediation talks with the Ireland Women's National team had come to a successful conclusion.

Issues regarding conditions had initially been raised by the players at a press conference on Tuesday, eventually leading to talks to try and find a resolution.

Former Drogheda United, Athlone Town and Monaghan United manager Mick Cooke was head coach of the Ireland women's national team for a decade until 2002 and he has spoken to Newstalk.com about his experiences in charge.

"In my tenure as international manager, the girls gave me nothing but 100%. At the time, obviously the Association wasn't as well off as it is now," he said.

"People must remember that I managed the senior team, the under-18s and the under-16s and had different backroom staffs for different teams. And in each age group, 16s, 18s and the senior team, they gave me nothing but 100%."

He also touched on the facilities and logistics provided by the FAI two decades ago.

"We stayed in the best hotels, travelled in the best of airlines and we actually went to the Faroe Islands on a private plane for one match because it was too awkward to get to the long way around - which was from Denmark - and [former international officer] Sean [Brodie] said 'No' and we actually got a private plane to go to the match. So that's how well we were looked after all those years ago.

"And we used to train in the Institute for Higher Education on Griffith Avenue. We had a whole floor to ourselves and we were looked after meals wise. Certainly in my tenure there, could not complain.

"So it shocks me with these stories now because in my day the people who worked for the FAI at the time supported me 100% and gave me everything I wanted, plus what the players wanted in my day. So I don't where it's broken down [in the years since]."