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Ireland men's hockey coach Alexander Cox resigns ahead of crunch Olympic qualifiers

Alexander Cox
Alexander Cox

Ireland men's team are on the search for a new head coach after Alexander Cox resigned from his post.

The Dutch coach had admitted that he would consider his position after his side were relegated from European Hockey's top tier for the first time in 10 years.

Also the coach of club giants Kampong, Cox took the Ireland job on a part-time basis 12 months ago, succeeding the popular Craig Fulton.

However, a dismal 4-0 defeat to Wales confirmed Ireland's relegation from the EuroHockey Championships last weekend, finishing bottom of the eight-team tournament.

Ireland are currently exploring a 'number of options' with the Olympic play-off set to take place at the end of October or start of November. The play-offs take the form of two back-to-back games against another nation, with the aggregate winner progressing to Tokyo.

As many as 14 teams will take part in the play-offs and with world rankings used to decide who plays who and which side has home advantage, Ireland's slip one or two places after last weekend's relegation could prove highly significant.

“After taking some time to reflect on the past year, and the goals we have both achieved and failed to achieve, I have come to the decision that it is best for me to step back from this role with the Irish men’s squad,” Cox said.

“It has been a tough few weeks, but credit to the players and staff as they have given it their all at every stage. We just didn’t manage to pull together the result we felt we are capable of.

“At this time, I feel it is best for me to step back as coach so the team can have a fresh start towards the important Olympic qualifier.”

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