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Irish coach Andrew Meredith moves on after failing ‘X-Factor’ test

Andrew Meredith

Andrew Meredith

According to Irish Hockey’s Chief Executive Mike Heskin, Irish coach Andrew Meredith had to go, as he didn’t have the ‘X-factor’.

In a recent online interview, Heskin admitted that the chemistry between the players and coach was simply not there.

He said: “A lot of people were working very hard. It may be a simplistic answer but it was missing an X-factor.

“You can see it from sport to sport where a player’s game blossoms from club to club or deteriorates quite quickly.

“We were performing quite well [under Meredith] but we were just not gelling.

“We were moving forward from month to month but we weren’t getting the momentum we needed to move on to the next level.

“I think it just hadn’t gelled. Everybody was working hard and we could have persisted with it but we want to reach the Olympics.

“We went through a number of reviews during the year where we made tweaks and changes to see if we could get what we wanted out of it.

“Progress was adequate but whether it was going to move us on, possibly not.”

But were there other issues?

A seventh place finish at the World League 3, resulted in Ireland missing out on World Cup qualification and they just avoided relegation from Europe’s top flight.

But there was also player discontentment, as they were far from happy with his public criticism of them.

And when the former Irish coach tweeted after the announcement that he was leaving, the lack of retweets was apparent by their absence.

Meredith tweeted: “…Looking forward to many big challenges and opportunities in 2014, while working in a very exciting new environment with FC St Pauli.

“Sad to close one chapter of life, but enthusiastic about the new one which will mean the important people in my life come first.

“I would also like to thank the extremely dedicated team of staff members at the IHA for all their assistance and support of the Men’s programme.

“Like to thank the fantastic people from the Irish Hockey community for their kindness, assistance, and magnificent support. Thank you.”

Ireland will begin looking for a new coach and it is anticipated that this time round they will be looking for a coach closer to home.

Next year is a relatively quiet year for Ireland, with only one world ranking tournament, the Champions Challenge I in Malaysia in April.

 

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