Craig Fulton steps down as Ireland hockey coach for Belgium role

The most successful coach in history of Irish hockey to become Belgium’s assistant coach

Craig Fulton has stepped down as head coach of Ireland men's hockey team to take up a position with Belgium.

The South African coach has been at the helm of the Irish squad since 2014 and is moving on to a job as assistant coach to the Belgian men’s national team.

The most successful coach in the history of Irish hockey, Fulton led the Irish side to a European bronze medal, qualified for the Olympics Games in Rio and took the team to this year’s World Cup in India.

“It has been an absolute honour and a pleasure to have been head coach of the Irish men’s team since 2014. Great teams are made up of great individuals and I am very proud to say that this has been the case with the players that I have been fortunate enough to coach,” said Fulton.

"I am proud that the Irish men's team, together with the support of the Irish hockey community made history. To David Harte and the Irish men's squad all the best for the World Cup and beyond, may this team continue to inspire the next generation of hockey players".

Fulton's final match will be in June when Ireland face France in three matches in Cork. Following that series the current team assistant coaches Jonny Caren, Kai de Jager and John Bessell will lead the side as hockey Ireland begin a recruitment process.

“I look forward to taking on a new role with the Belgium hockey federation in the near future and I am excited about the new challenges that lie ahead,” added Fulton.

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times