Shaw parts ways with Ireland to take charge of Black Sticks

By Stephen Leonard

GRAHAM Shaw has stepped down as Ireland Senior Women’s Hockey Team Head Coach to take over the New Zealand Senior International women’s side.

The Firhouse man, who last year led the Green Army to silver at the World Cup in London, is moving to New Zealand to take charge of the World Number Six outfit.

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Graham Shaw

During his near four years at the helm with Ireland he has helped lead them from 16th to Number Eight in the world.

Speaking about his decision to move, Shaw 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 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 added.

Praising the work of Shaw, Jerome Pels, Hockey Ireland CEO, 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 two 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”.

Performance Director Adam Grainger echoed Pels’ sentiment saying “Graham has undoubtedly left the Green Army programme in a better place and has put the building blocks in place for the squad to continue with this cycle successfully, with the primary goal being Olympic qualification.

“Graham’s commitment to the programme, both on and off the pitch, is a testament to his character and we wish him every success in the future”. 

Green Army captain, Katie Mullan, also hailed Shaw’s influence adding “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”.

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