Rathgar appoint Gray and Meeke to coaching team

Rathgar have announced Sarah Gray as their ladies first team head coach for the 2016/17 season, taking over the reins from Stephen Thompson.

Gray steps up from her role as assistant coach last season and will be joined by Irish international Ali Meeke as her assistant on the coaching ticket. It follows a 2015/16 season in which Rathgar managed to maintain Division 1 status for the first time.

Looking to the new campaign, a club statement said Rathgar are “hopeful that the considerable influence and guidance of these two coaches will further strengthen the club’s position within Leinster Division 1 and build on last year’s achievement.

Rathgar's new coach Sarah Gray, left, along with club captain Nicola Wynne and assistant coach Ali Meeke

Rathgar’s new coach Sarah Gray, left, along with club captain Nicola Wynne and assistant coach Ali Meeke

“Their appointment continues the tradition within the club of offering a high standard of coaching to all of it’s teams.”

The club are also keen that Gray will also be instrumental in identifying new talent within the club and fostering links with The High School, Dublin where Rathgar play their home games.

“She brings with her a wealth of experience having played and coached at a high level to date. It is hoped that her unique management/coaching style and innate passion for the game will help to nurture new talent and bring on existing players to compete at the highest levels of hockey in Ireland.”

For Gray’s part, she said of the new role: “It is fantastic to be taking over the helm in Rathgar at such a positive stage in the club’s development. I am delighted to have the opportunity to build on the past four years work and develop with the Rathgar HC players over the 2016 / 2017 season.”

Meeke will also be providing fitness and conditioning training to all club teams on an ongoing basis. Speaking about her appointment, club captain Nikki Wynne stated: “We are proud to welcome Ali to Rathgar.

“Her considerable knowledge and expertise coupled with her achievements at the highest level of hockey will serve as huge motivation for the players within the club. We are delighted she has joined the coaching team and there is a great buzz around the club following these new appointments.”

Adding to their coaching team, Andrew Jones, David Howard and Trevor Denton will take charge of the Ladies 2s, 3s and 4s, respectively.

This season, Rathgar will be offering adult beginners hockey every Monday evening from 19:00 – 20:45. Click here for details.

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