Mark Tumilty appointed Ireland hockey head coach

Former Banbridge player has been in charge of team and position has now been extended

Mark Tumilty has been appointed Head Coach for the Ireland senior men’s team. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Mark Tumilty has been appointed Head Coach for the Ireland senior men’s team. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

Hockey Ireland (HI) has announced the appointment of Mark Tumilty as head coach for the Ireland senior men’s team. The former international player had been in charge of the team up to and including the controversial Olympic Games qualifying series of matches against Canada in Vancouver last October, where Ireland failed to qualify for Tokyo.

However, the coaching position was then extended into 2020 in line with the usual Olympic coaching cycles. Wednesday’s appointment comes as the squad looks ahead to the European Championships scheduled for August 2021 and the World Cup qualification process which gets underway in early 2022.

The former Banbridge player has used the past year to widen the men’s panel and provide some younger players with the opportunity to step up, with the aim of making the squad more competitive.

“It is an honour and privilege to be given the opportunity to coach the Ireland senior men’s team,” said Tumilty. “I am really excited by the players we have available and look forward to developing those players over the next period.

“I want to develop an attacking style of hockey and to create an environment for all players to fulfil their potential during our preparation for the 2021 European Championships.”

While the women’s team have a full programme leading up to their first Olympic Games next summer once Covid-19 lockdowns are lifted, the men face into regaining their status in the top tier of European competition after they were relegated in 2019.

It has been a precipitous decline over five years as the men’s team became the first in Irish hockey to win a European Championship medal at senior level, when they secured bronze in 2015. The team also qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, another first for the sport.

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