A day after David Harte was named the world’s best goalkeeper, Craig Fulton was confirmed the men’s FIH Coach of the Year following a stellar year of Olympic qualification and European bronze.
The coach oversaw an undefeated run through World League 2 in San Diego, an all-time high finish of fifth at World League 3 which ultimately booked the ticketto Rio and a first ever European medal.Speaking about the award, Fulton said: “It’s an honour and a privilege to accept this award from the FIH and from my fellow coaching peers, it is much appreciated. To my family and the brilliant Irish Men’s staff and players, this is our award for an unforgettable 2015”.
During his playing career, Fulton won 191 national caps for South Africa during which he competed at the 1996 Atlanta and 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Following his retirement he has taken on several coaching roles within club and international hockey.
In addition to roles as assistant coach for Ireland men and South Africa men and women, Fulton enjoyed a successful spell with Irish club Pembroke, whom he guided them to the Irish Hockey League and Irish Senior Cup double as well as the EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy in 2009.
As for Harte, reflecting on his goalkeeper of the year gong, he told The Hook: “I’m still in shock if I’m honest.
“To win it is such an incredible honour, all the more so when you consider that so many people had to take the time to vote, to whom I’m very grateful.
“While it is recognised as an individual award, I certainly know I would never have envisioned reaching such a level without my coaches in school and at underage level, my club Kampong in my second home Utrecht, and of course my Irish team mates, especially my twin brother Conor, and incredible coaching staff.
“Not to forget of course my family and friends who have been with me from the start, through the highs and the lows, thankfully there have been plenty more highs than lows recently. It has been some year both for myself and Irish hockey.”