Hockey Ireland have accepted the resignation of Ireland women hockey head coach Graham Shaw as he is to take up a similar role in New Zealand. Shaw has been an ever present for Ireland over the last number of years having played for the Ireland men’s international team and as part of the women’s coaching set up since 2010.
Shaw was indeed assistant coach to Darren Smith, before he took the role as head coach of the women’s team in summer 2015 which was just before the beginning of the Eurohockey tournament in Prague. He now however, feels the time is right to vacate the role and head to New Zealand where he will be coaching a side ranked 6th in the current world rankings.
Shaw released in a statement “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 four 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.”
He has done so much for Ireland rising them up the World Rankings. He brought them from 16th in the world to 8th. They also qualified for their first World Cup under his stewardship. The 2018 World Cup was what gave the Irish team and Shaw their name it was superb. He led them to a silver medal and a first ever World Cup Final. Speaking about the departure of Shaw, Hockey Ireland and CEO Jerome Pels issued a statement and said “We would like to thank Graham for all he has done for the senior women’s programme over the last several years. Graham has given a huge amount to Irish hockey over the last 2 decades both as a high-performance athlete and a coach. We wish Graham all the very best with this new opportunity with Hockey New Zealand”.