Helena Costa is an inspiration to other female coaches, says Ireland boss Sue Ronan

Last Updated: 08/05/14 12:30pm

Republic of Ireland women's manager Sue Ronan believes Helena Costa can inspire other female coaches to pursue a career in men's football management.

Costa made history on Wednesday when she became the first woman to be appointed manager of a men's team in the top two divisions of a major European league.

Costa, who worked under Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho at Benfica, will officially take charge of French Ligue 2 side Clermont Foot when she replaces Regis Brouard at the end of the season.

And Ronan told Sky Sports News: "She will be a real role model for other coaches and for coaches to go on and do their top qualifying badges, the UEFA A, the Pro-Licence etc.

"I certainly think she's going to be a huge role model for everybody. There are lots of other female coaches out there that will look at this with joy and think they may have a chance.

"She's got a lot of experience in the game, she's been a scout for Celtic, she's been involved in the management team at Benfica, so why shouldn't she be given the opportunity?"

Costa, 36, started out as a coach with Benfica's youth sides in 1997 before moving to the scouting department at Celtic. She coached the Qatar women's team between 2012 and 2014 before taking over the Iran woman's team where her contract ends this summer.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger also believes it is an excellent step forward for the game and that decisions over a manager should be based on competence, not gender.

He said: "I like it. We have men managing women so why not women managing men?

"I have always defended competence in my life. If you are male or female and you are competent then you get the job, anywhere.

"If there are any restrictions for her it is that she has little experience as a coach but maybe she has top qualities for the job. It's good they've given her the chance."