Huge blow for Irish hockey as coach Graham Shaw steps down to take New Zealand job
Graham Shaw has stepped down as the head coach of the Ireland women's hockey team to take over New Zealand.
In what is a huge blow for the sport in Ireland, Shaw - who led the Irish team to a World Cup final in 2018 - has departed his role to take over the Black Sticks.
Shaw joined the Irish coaching set-up as an assistant in 2010 before taking on the head coach position in 2015. Shaw has brought the team from 16th to 8th in the world during his time in charge, which included that historic showing at last summer's World Cup in England.
Ireland topped their pool after wins over USA and India, before knockout stage penalty shoot-out wins over India and Spain saw them make the final, where they were defeated by the Netherlands.
Speaking about his departure, 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 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."