Hockey Ireland have confirmed that women’s head coach Graham Shaw has resigned from his role and will take up a job as New Zealand women’s head coach.
It is a huge blow for the side, coming just three months after Shaw was awarded RTÉ manager of the year following a historic World Cup final showing.
The Green Army have gone from 16th to 8th in the world during Shaw’s tenure and qualified for their first World Cup since 2002.
In a statement released today, Shaw talked players and staff.
"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.
Jerome Pels, Hockey Ireland CEO, was quick to praise the legacy that Shaw leaves behind “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”.
Ireland captain Katie Mullan also thanked Shaw for his work: “On behalf of the Green Army I would like to thank Graham for all that he has given to our team. He led us to a moment none of us will ever forget at the World Cup and the Blacksticks are very lucky to have him, we wish him all the best with this new adventure”.