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Mark Tumilty keen to take up Ireland coaching role on permanent basis as job advertised

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Pick me: Mark Tumilty has thrown his hat into the ring

Pick me: Mark Tumilty has thrown his hat into the ring

�INPHO/Bryan Keane

Pick me: Mark Tumilty has thrown his hat into the ring

Mark Tumilty has confirmed that he will be applying for the Ireland men's head coaching position which has been advertised by Hockey Ireland.

The former Banbridge boss will be continuing in the role until the post is filled in any event, hopefully by the end of the year, having had his contract extended until then back in January.

Tumilty was initially appointed on a short-term basis for the Olympic qualifying trip to Canada last October when Ireland failed to qualify for Tokyo in controversial circumstances.

Since then, with the Covid-19 pandemic decimating sporting events across the globe, Ireland haven't had a single fixture as games against France, the United States and Scotland, along with a prestigious Five Nations tournament in Spain, all bit the dust.

However, Tumilty has kept himself busy in recent weeks, with a gradual return to training, initially in small groups, allowing him to run his eye over the talent at his disposal.

The Dromore native said: "I will definitely be applying for the job and I am very keen to continue with what we have started.

"I have enjoyed the last six weeks doing the regional training sessions in Ulster and it has given me a good opportunity to see a large number of players.

"We have had a couple of full squad sessions over the last few weekends and I have been impressed with the quality of the players."

The new post-holder will be handed a contract which will run through to the end of the 2024 Olympic cycle, subject to ongoing performance reviews.

Originally, Hockey Ireland stated that the post would be advertised at the end of the Tokyo Olympic cycle this year.

And they have stuck to their guns, even though the 2020 Games fell victim to the coronavirus and will now be staged in 2021.

That could work in Tumilty's favour as it would be unusual if any of the Tokyo-bound coaches would jump ship before the conclusion of the rearranged Olympics.

Belfast Telegraph