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Pegasus suffer blow as Boyles quits to answer Ireland's call

By John Flack

Arlene Boyles has announced she is quitting as Pegasus coach after two hugely successful seasons at the helm.

She is standing down in order to concentrate fully on her other role as assistant to Ireland head coach Graham Shaw.

Ireland have an extremely busy year ahead with the first phase of the 2018 World Cup qualifying process to come in January, followed by the final eliminator in June, assuming they overcome the first hurdle as anticipated.

Shortly afterwards, the build-up will commence for the European Championship series which takes place in August.

Boyles, who took over from Michelle Rainey, steered Pegasus to an all-Ireland title in her first season in charge as her team defeated Loreto in the final.

Earlier this year, Pegasus were runners-up to star-studded Dublin side Hermes in the revamped EY Irish Hockey League, both in the regulation season and the play-offs.

They also retained their place in the top-flight of European competition for next season after performing creditably at the tournament in the Netherlands in May on the back of their all-Ireland triumph of the previous year.

Boyles said: "It was a decision I struggled with but I felt after doing both coaching jobs now for a while and, with the Irish calendar for 2017, it was just going to be impossible to be involved with Ireland, travelling for the IHL with Pegasus and have family time on top of that.

"It also didn't sit well with me leaving the Pegasus girls for long periods, but I will be shouting from the sidelines when I'm home."

Pegasus captain Alex Speers added: "The squad were obviously disappointed when we heard the news but, given her Irish commitments, it was a decision we understood and fully supported."

"Arlene's vast knowledge, experience and ability to lead a dressing-room will be sorely missed but she's left us in a good place."

Belfast Telegraph


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