Mark Tumilty has been confirmed as the Irish men’s head coach on a full-time basis following close to a year holding the post on an interim basis.
He initially took on the job for the month leading up to last October’s Olympic qualifiers in Vancouver after Alexander Cox vacated the role in the wake of European Championship relegation two months earlier.
Tumilty provisionally remained in situ while the post was re-advertised when the Olympic Games was originally due to conclude with the former Banbridge boss among the applicants.
He duly got the nod and will now look forward to a hectic 2021 – despite no Olympic campaign – with August European Championships and the World Cup qualification process close on the horizon.
To that end, he has significantly widened his panel during the summer with the likes of Cork C of I’s Kevin O’Dea, Conor Empey, Troy Chambers, Johnny Lynch, Ryan Spencer and Mark McNellis among those joining training sessions.
In addition, David Hobbs has been working with a Munster group to try and increase levels of representation from the southern province.
Tumilty said of the confirmation of the full-time role: “It is an honour and privilege to be given the opportunity to coach the Irelands Senior Men’s team. I am really excited by the players we have available and look forward to developing those players over the next period.
“I want to develop an attacking style of hockey and to create an environment for all players to fulfil their potential during our preparation for the 2021 European Championships.”
Hockey Ireland’s High Performance Director Adam Grainger, meanwhile, added: “Despite the disappointment of the unsuccessful qualification for Tokyo 2020, it was very clear from existing players and staff feedback that the leadership of Mark was well received leading into Vancouver qualifiers and subsequently,” he said.