While Irish hockey fans have to wait a couple of weeks to meet the new men’s national coach, Paul Revington, Corinthian coach John McInroy (pictured left), who has had firsthand experience of his work, believes his appointment is a massive boost.
The pair first met when Revington was coaching at the University of Cape Town and McInroy subsequently gained all his South African international caps under Revington between 2003 and 2006 and is quite clearly believes he is the man needed to take Irish hockey up a level.
“When I saw the appointment, I thought ‘Wow’; these are exciting times for Irish hockey. He is absolutely world class and I couldn’t think of a better guy. His attention to detail, his knowledge, his leadership qualities, he is a very learned man when it comes to hockey and his life is about coaching.”
Revington oversaw an impressive progression from 14th to 10th in the world rankings up until 2006, however there was no love lost between himself and his employers at the end of his tenure.
Revington said at the time, “Every national coach in South African sport, no matter how technically or tactically proficient they are, requires the support and leadership of their governing body.
“After doing well to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, I obviously frustrated various SA Hockey officials and progressively lost support from key members ofthe SAHA executive.”
His protégé, though, feels that such issues should not hold him back.“There’s lot of politics in South African hockey. As a player, you hear bits and pieces but you can only know so much.
“I think he’ll be looking forward to working from a clean piece of paper and having a full reign to put everything in place.”
Revington will take on the role fully in January but visits Ireland for nine-days at the end of November for the three-game series with Scotland.