Shaw to replace Smith as Ireland women's coach

Darren Smith took over as Ireland coach in 2013
Darren Smith took over as Ireland coach in 2013

Ireland women's coach Darren Smith will leave the post after World League 3 next month with his assistant Graham Shaw succeeding him in the top job.

Smith, who took charge of the team in January 2013, will return to his native New Zealand to be with his family.

"I'm very proud of the work we've done - the team is a delight to coach and is filled with talented, committed and intelligent women," said Smith.

Former Ireland international Shaw has been assistant to Smith since May 2013.

Smith added: "We have loved our time in this beautiful country and are disappointed to be leaving. The warmth of the people and particularly the hockey community has made it an extremely enjoyable experience.

"Graham Shaw has been a huge support during my time with the team, he is a first class coach and I know he will lead the program to our ultimate goals, the Olympic Games and World Cup."

Smith's side will compete for a place at the Olympic Games at World League 3 in Valencia.

Ireland produced its best performance on the world stage in over a decade when they earned a silver medal at the Champions Challenge in Glasgow last year.

"I am very proud and honoured to be taking over the role of Head Coach," said Shaw on Thursday.

"I am very excited to coach this team of very talented players and really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in the coming year.

"Coaching your national team is a real privilege and I am really looking forward to the challenge ahead "

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