After the most sustained period of high quality results, Irish hockey was left deflated this morning as Paul Revington confirmed his decision to step away from the national panel.
During his tenure, the South African led Ireland to a record-equaling fifth place in Europe and to the brink of Olympic qualification in March, only having their hearts broken with mere seconds to go in the final against Korea.
Indeed, during his three and a half year tenure, Revington oversaw a rise in world ranking from 18th to 16th – which will rise to 15th after the Olympic Games – becoming joint-winner of the FIH Men’s Coach of the Year honour.
He took over the side in January 2009, reaching the final of the Champions Challenge II while promotion from the European ‘B’ division was claimed in Wrexham that year in impressive fashion.
World Cup qualification was missed in 2010 with a low-key third place finish in Argentina but Ireland hit new heights in 2011, winning the Champion’s Challenge II in Lille, the INSEP Five Nations – which featured world number one side Australia – and hitting fifth in the Euros.
En route, three Celtic Cups were annexed though the event was primarily used to extend the number of players in the international loop.
This was one of the more remarkable facets of his tenure, stretching the panel to over 40 players while maintaining the top-end results. Indeed, a wealth of top tier nations were beaten including Spain, Korea, Argentina and Malaysia, making Ireland consistently competitive at the top level.
In a press release this morning, Revington paid tribute to those that helped propel his side forward:
“I will look back on the past few years having shared so many great moments with many players, staff and supporters involved with the Ireland senior men’s team.
“Through an amazing collective response by players to perform for the good of a Squad we developed the Green Machine identity that has motivated and inspired so many people to support Men’s Hockey in Ireland and across the world. It has been a privilege to be a part of such an amazing squad of people.
“Thank you to the squad of players who have represented the Ireland Green Machine with so much trust, energy and quality through my tenure as coach.
“I loved every minute with the Squad and each individual player and I look forward to seeing the next phase of “fast growth” as a team and squad.”
IHA High Performance Director Dave Passmore is sad to see Revington go: “His departure is of great disappointment to all but he has left a legacy which must now be built upon to ensure the squad fulfil their potential in the future, a future that he has done so much to shape”.
Revington will remain with Irish hockey until July 2012.
** The Hook is currently en route to London to support our rugby-playing brethren. We hope to update this story in due course but please bear with us if delayed
16 Responses to “Revington steps down from men’s senior team”
May 18, 2012 10:17 am Couch potato says
Eh….any truth of the Pembroke link here?
May 18, 2012 10:24 am Rob Anderson (UCD &YMCA) says
Hopefully with a new coach I’ll finally be able to get a shot at pulling on that green jersey! I skinned Joe Brennan you know
May 18, 2012 11:57 am Go Ulster says
What a shame. Have been to a few coaching seminars that he has presented at, and he had an infectious enthusiasm for spreading the word and simplifying the game. I think he will be missed.
May 18, 2012 1:15 pm 2020 says
I think its a sad day for Irish hockey Paul has changed the face of the international team for the better and I wish him well in whatever his next encounter is
May 18, 2012 2:26 pm David says
Very sad to see Revs move on. I was lucky enough to get to know him and his knowledge and passion for the game was plain to see. The core group of players on the squad will be very saddened to lose such an inspirational coach. I wish him all the best in the future, no doubt after the Olympic cycle ends he will be snapped up by one of the huge hockey nations.
He has left huge shoes to fill
May 18, 2012 3:27 pm Vincent Browne says
serious questions need to be asked as to why he is stepping down. He is the best thing to happen in Irish hockey for years and the IHA (kirkland and passmore) should have tried to move heaven and earth to keep him. The hockey public deserve to know why he is stepping down. It just doesnt add up……WE NEED ANSWERS
May 18, 2012 3:43 pm colin knipe says
Robbie Mcminn has to be the 1st choice for the Ireland job!! hes currently without a club that the minute!!
May 18, 2012 4:04 pm AG says
While I recognise it may be proven that not enough was done to keep Revs, those who are already jumping down the throat of the IHA would want to consider that it might have been out of their control.
If, as I suspect, Revington has decided to seek a position with a better-ranked side while his stock is high and the post-Olympic coaching merry-go-round is on the horizon, there’s really not much Irish hockey can do about it.
May 18, 2012 6:35 pm Peter Jackson says
Hockey friends. Can we stop speculation on this. Please. Paul has left for his reasons. Just remember his achievements and congratulate him when you next seen him, to his players and Staff who have committed so much. No more needs said.
Peter Jackson – Irish Manager
May 18, 2012 10:41 pm Leinster supporter says
I just want to add my disappointment of the news of Revs departure. However, u would have to be a fool not to have seen this coming. Wins joint coach of the year and Ireland fail to qualify for Olympics. I don’t think a coach like revs, with his obvious ambition and drive, would bother wait around for another four years when he has established himself internationally. Let’s wait till end of Olympics to see where he ends up…my guess is s Africa or spain depending on performances. The very best of luck Paul.
May 18, 2012 11:00 pm irish hockey fan says
Im reading a lot of points about why Revs is leaving – a massive loss to Irish Hockey, he opened the door to so many of our players, made the wearing of the green accessable to all – But the questions raised above have to be asked – the perfect forum is on tomorrow – The IHA agm is on in the stillorgan park hotel, whether you have a vote or not you are entitled to be there, to ask questions
May 19, 2012 12:24 am taboos says
Below are some tweets included in the SouthernFried piece on this:
John Jackson (@JohnHJackson3): “Revs did more for Irish mens hockey in 3yrs than most will do in a lifetime. Thought he resign when Fergie retired from ManU #gutted #THANKS“
Gareth Watkins (@GarWatkins): “Have had better starts to a Friday morning. Disappointing news in paper that Revs is to go, he has been massive for #irishhockey #gutted“
Chris Cargo (@chriscargo25): “absolutely gutted!!! #thatisall #nowords“
I take it from these that the players didn’t know. It’s a real shame that this story got leaked before the coach had an opportunity to tell his players. To read it in the Irish Times or the Hook (as wonderful as your site is, Stephen) is just a terrible way for players to find out their coach is leaving. If it happened in any club there’d be uproar. Perhaps I misunderstand, however, maybe he let them know this morning as the Irish Times was coming out.
How did Johnny Waterson get hold of the story? It’s not like he went looking for it.
I’d say Angus Kirkland and the board are delighted it happened the day before the IHA AGM.
May 19, 2012 12:51 am Deflated says
Can’t believe it. What a disaster for Irish hockey. Questions need to be asked and truthful answers given.
A few weeks ago the dogs in the street heard that Revs was going to sign another 4 yr contract —- so what happened? He was so enthusiastic and professional and a wonderful motivator,and had made a huge impact on our game.Everyone who met him was so impressed.Why then did he resign? The IHA need to give truthful answers and heads should roll if necessary!!
Thank you Revs, for all your efforts and achievements with the Green Machine. It was the best of times and a joy to watch.
May 19, 2012 11:06 am bolger says
a pure gent!!! pleasure to have worked with paul ,peter and all the squad in prep for there tournaments, a very approachable man with great passion to achive the best, which i think is installed in every person who comes in contact with paul…for irish players to go to training camps against the mighty Dutch and Spanish and others and not fear them shows what he has done for irish hockey to be invited to these training camps alone shows how much high regard Paul is held in… I wish him and his wife all the very best and thank him for putting Irish Hockey on the MAP…kieran Bolger.
May 19, 2012 11:42 pm Such a shame says
What a disaster…., Is there anyone out there that could make revs reconsider ….. Maybe if there was a clear out of some of the hierarchy in the iha we could as a hockey community could talk him out of it ….. He has been the best thing to happen to Irish hockey in a long long time
May 20, 2012 5:50 pm Frank Gormley says
It is the equvalent of Kilkenny letting Cody go or United letting Fregie go after winning a few titles. When you have a great coach and leader you have to do everything possible to hold onto them – in the sporting world they are invaluable and almost impossible to replace. We have had few such leaders in Irish Hockey and it is a major setback to let him go. The IHA have some serious questions to answer here. A dark day indeed.
Launched in August 2007, The Hook has set out to provide news and information for hockey in Leinster. The site has developed since then to cover all levels of the sport in Ireland and beyond, providing stories on schools, club, interprovincial and international. Working in tandem with the superb Irish Hockey Photographers, The Hook aims to offer the best coverage of the sport in the province. Should you have any queries or suggestions, please email founder, Stephen Findlater, at firstname.lastname@example.org.