The man who led the Ireland women’s side to last year’s World Cup final has resigned.
Graham Shaw has left his role to become the new head coach of the New Zealand women’s hockey side.
Shaw’s been in charge of Ireland for almost four-years, and was expected to head Ireland’s Olympic qualifying campaign that begins in the summer.
In a statement, the 40-year-old said: “It was an honour to coach my country and I am very grateful for the opportunity. We have had some incredible times together that I will never forget. I have worked with an outstanding staff over many years; your professionalism, honesty and friendship will stay with me forever.
“I would like to thank Hockey Ireland, Sport Ireland, SINI and Sport Northern Ireland for your unwavering support over the past years and long may it continue. I’d also like to recognise the staff of Hockey Ireland for all their work behind the scenes and their friendships over the past several years.
“To the players I would like to say a massive thank you. Your drive, dedication and loyalty has been relentless and it has been an absolute pleasure to lead the program over the past 4 years. I would like to wish the squad all the best for the future. I hope you continue on this journey, inspiring the next generation of hockey players in Ireland and I hope to see you in Tokyo”.
Ireland have gone from 16th to eight in the world during Shaw’s tenure and qualified for their first World Cup since 2002. The historic silver medal for Ireland at the World Cup last year was a first ever World Cup final for any Irish team sport.