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Ireland can live the dream without me, insists exiting coach Fulton

 

By Graham Hamilton

Departing Ireland coach Craig Fulton has told his players to continue believing in themselves and to go on and make an impact at the World Cup in India.

Fulton led his squad to a series win over France in Cork, with yesterday's 3-0 win coming after Saturday's 6-1 success and Thursday's 1-1 draw and setting the side up nicely for the Hamburg Masters later this month.

He gave the players a clear message in the post-match huddle - that he wants them to build on the successes they have achieved together.

Fulton's nickname is Ned, which stands for Never Ending Dream, and he urged the players to continue adopting that mentality going forward.

"I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish together," said Fulton. "It has been a difficult and emotional weekend but there is enough calibre with the assistant coaches and the experienced players to carry things forward here in my absence."

It was an interesting series in Cork, with Ireland's all-time goalscorer John Jermyn ending his international career with a 93rd strike in Thursday's draw.

Then came Shane O'Donoghue's virtuoso performance with a four-goal haul in Saturday's demolition and in yesterday's 3-0 success, O'Donoghue was on the mark again to take his international tally to 87 - just six short of Jermyn's record.

Yesterday's game saw the Irish take almost an hour to break the French resistance but Stuart Loughrey popped up to finish off a lovely move involving John Jackson and Alan Sothern.

Then came O'Donoghue's trademark penalty corner, quickly followed by Sothern's close-range effort.

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