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Banbridge HC looking to the future after Gordon Cracknell steps down as boss


Gordon Cracknell

Gordon Cracknell

Gordon Cracknell

Banbridge are on the lookout for a new head coach following the resignation of Gordon Cracknell after just over a year in the hotseat.

The former Kilkeel boss cited time constraints due to work commitments as the primary reason behind his decision.

He will be a hard act to follow after stepping into the shoes of Mark Tumilty, who was in charge for nine years before taking over the Ireland men's job.

Cracknell steered Bann into second place in the Irish Hockey League table in the 2019-20 season before it was declared null and void due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was only last Saturday that the Co Down club lost an unbeaten record which dated back to the tail end of last year when they lost 3-2 to YMCA.

During that run, they became the only team to beat Lisnagarvey last season when they defeated the Hillsborough outfit 3-2 in the Kirk Cup final.

A club statement said: "Gordon brought his own style of coaching to the club and was setting Bann up for a real tilt at the EY Champions Trophy before the season was brought to a premature end."

Club president Mark Evans added: "I would like to thank Gordon for his commitment to Banbridge Hockey Club. We understand the time demands and work commitments that he has, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gordon for his efforts and wish him every success for the future."

In the interim, the current senior coaching team of Scott McCandless, Suzanne Evans, Gareth Lennox and Colin Walker will look after the squad, starting with Saturday's trip to Dublin to face Monkstown.  

Leaders Lisnagarvey are away to Glenanne bidding to make it four from four, while Annadale host fellow strugglers Corinthian.

Saturday's EYHL fixtures: Annadale v Corinthian (3.30pm); Glenanne v Lisnagarvey (3pm); Monkstown v Banbridge (2.15pm); UCD v Three Rock; YMCA v Pembroke.

Belfast Telegraph