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Smith set to quit as Irish coach after World League

Darren Smith is to stand down as Ireland coach at the end of World League 3 in Valencia in June, the final qualifier for the Olympics, to return to his native New Zealand to be with his family.

His assistant, Graham Shaw, will take on the head coach role with the rest of the current back room team continuing in their positions.

The Dubliner, who formerly played for Monkstown, becomes the first Irish man to hold the post since Ulster's Terry Gregg back in 1997.

Smith, who took up the post in January 2013, steered the national side to its best performance on the world stage in over a decade when they claimed the silver medals at the Champions Challenge in Glasgow last year.

The momentum carried through to World League Round 2 in Dublin in March, the first step to Rio, with six wins from six games and a set of gold medals.

"I'm very proud of the work that we have done with the team and am very much looking forward to World League 3 to see us step up to an even higher level," said Smith.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph