Sean Dancer steps down as Ireland hockey head coach

The head coach of the Ireland senior women’s hockey team, Sean Dancer, has announced his decision to depart the role.

His decision comes after the squad missed out on qualification for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, having lost to Britain in the Olympic qualifiers in January.

The Australian took over from Graham Shaw in 2019, a year after the team’s momentous World Cup outing, coming second after falling to the Netherlands in the final.

During his tenure, Dancer led the team to their first Olympic appearance, qualifying for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Announcing his decision on Tuesday, he said: “As a team there have certainly been some ups and downs, but I am extremely proud of the team’s consistency competing and performing at three Europeans, a World Cup and an Olympic Games.”

Dancer added: “It has been an amazing experience for me and my family getting to understand the unique Irish sporting culture and skills, but more importantly, it was an honour getting to know each individual of our special group.

“I wish the players and staff all the best for the future, and look forward to the opportunity of cheering from the stands with the great Green Army Family.”

Hockey Ireland’s high performance director Lisa Jacob said Dancer had made a “huge and positive contribution to the development of the team, and the results and successes bear testament to that”.

“On a personal note, Sean has been a true professional and a pleasure to work with and on behalf of all the players and the staff, I want to recognise that and thank him for his contribution,” she added.

Hockey Ireland confirmed the head coach role “will be filled on an interim basis from within the current coaching set up” until Dancer’s successor is chosen.


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