Kiwi Darren Smith named new Ireland women’s hockey coach

LEADER: Ireland's Alex Speers

LEADER: Ireland's Alex Speers

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Darren Smith, who is from New Zealand, has been confirmed as the new Ireland women’s national Coach as the replacement for Dennis Pritchard.

The latter who was appointed on an interim basis after the resignation of Gene Muller.

The South African stepped down after Ireland had failed to book their tickets to the Olympics.

Smith takes over the post after six years as assistant coach to the New Zealand Men’s team who recently finished ninth at London 2012.

As well extensive coaching experience, he brings considerable playing experience to the role having represented New Zealand on 212 occasions.

His carreer highlight was claiming a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002.

“I am delighted to have appointed Darren to the role of women’s national coach.” enthused Irish Hockey CEO Mike Heskin.

“Darren joins at an exciting time for Irish women’s hockey and I look forward to seeing the team develop further under his leadership.

“Darren’s background and experience in coaching and playing at the highest level with New Zealand will be a tremendous asset to Irish Hockey and I look forward to working with him.”

Former Pegasus player Alex Speers, the Ireland captain has also welcomed ther appointment.

“I am absolutely delighted with it and am really looking forward to working under his world class leadership.” she said.

“He is coming into the ladies squad in a very exciting time.

“And I have no doubt his wealth of coaching and playing experience will guide the squad to consistently perform on the world stage.

“We want to move forward.”

Smith’s first major assignment will be in the New Year when the first stage of the qualifying process for the next world cup takes place in Spain.

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