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I want to qualify for Olympics and stay on: Tumilty

 

Mark Tumilty
Mark Tumilty

By John Flack

Mark Tumilty is hoping his tenure as Ireland men's coach doesn't end after the Olympic qualifier in Canada next month.

The former Banbridge boss, who has taken over on an interim basis from Dutchman Alexander Cox, who quit after a dismal European Championship campaign last month, insists he wants the job on a permanent basis.

Tumilty, who will be assisted by two-time Great Britain Olympian and former GB and England men's and women's coach Jason Lee, believes Ireland can regroup in time for the double-header in Vancouver scheduled for October 26-27.

And if they can defy the odds and the world rankings to qualify for Tokyo, he would love to stay on in the post.

Tumilty said: "It's an honour to be asked to take charge of the team and I would like to sit down with Hockey Ireland after the trip and discuss the possibility of staying on, hopefully with a place in Tokyo secured.

"I think we have a decent chance of qualifying and while it's going to be tough, playing Canada was probably the best draw we could have got.

"It's also great to have such an experienced man as Jason on board and we have a great support staff as well."

However, Tumilty is aware that, with just six weeks to turn things around, time isn't on his side to instil the self-belief and application which was in short supply at the Europeans in Antwerp.

He added: "I watched the games and we really shouldn't be losing to the likes of Wales and only drawing with Scotland.

"The aim will be to put the smile back on the players' faces, taking a leaf out of the Ireland women's team, and get us back to playing more attacking hockey."

Tumilty will have his first training session with the Ireland squad next week and may be able to welcome back players like Ulster duo Neal Glassey and Chris Cargo, who chose to sit out the Europeans.

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