Irish Hockey has announced Andrew Meredith as the National Men’s Hockey Coach.
Meredith, born in Australia, is a FIH High Performance Coach and most recently worked alongside Markus Weise as the Assistant Coach of the men’s German team (2006 – 2012), where he has enjoyed a hugely successful coaching career including winning gold at the very recent London 2012 Olympics and at Beijing four years previously.
Beyond his extensive coaching credentials Meredith comes to the role with player experience and insights having competed himself at an international level representing the Australian U21 team before competing as a professional player for over 15 years in Holland, Germany, England and Scotland.
IHA Chief Executive Mike Heskin believes that Meredith is the right candidate to lead this team forward through to major milestones commenting “I am delighted Andrew is joining Irish hockey . I believe he is the right appointment to lead this group of talented players toward our goal of Olympic participation at Rio 2016. Andrew has not only extensive experience in preparing a team for the challenge of Olympic qualification but he has been part of the most successful team for the last two Olympic cycles bringing home two Olympic gold medals. I am looking forward to working with him over the next 4 years.”
Meredith will reside in Germany, and will be required to monitor the domestic game on a regular basis with support from his assistant coaches based in Ireland, while being well positioned to monitor Irish athletes playing professionally abroad.
Commenting on his appointment he stated “I’m extremely honoured to have been given this opportunity in this new international role, to share my experience and implement my vision of excellence at all levels in our programs, and will certainly look to build on the encouraging progress that the Irish Men’s program has made in recent years.
It’s a hugely exciting and important project to be involved with, and the prospect to work with such a motivated and dedicated group of athletes is the key motivation for my involvement. I look forward to playing my part in Irish Hockey’s future and continuing to build on the past few years of dedicated hard work from all key stakeholders involved in the High Performance program.The multi-sided nature of my new role is certainly very appealing, and while working with the current group of experienced players in addition to looking to bring young talented athletes online into the program, one of my key aims is to bring world class specialist expertise and resources together, to create an operational program of excellence that, in time, delivers the best possible environment for producing world class athletes.
The inspiration of the participation in the Olympic experience will be a key part of this. My immediate task is to prepare the team for the upcoming Champions Challenge in Argentina against some of the world’s top teams, which was made possible of course by the fantastic support and show of strength shown by all levels of the Irish Community and in particular the Irish Hockey family. As time is short, with the tournament beginning in November, there is certainly some hard work ahead and I am looking forward to the challenge.”
Dennis Millar, Chairman of the Irish Hockey Board, also remarked “This is super news. The process has been somewhat prolonged due to the hiatus caused by the Olympic Games, but the wait has been worth it. We have appointed a world class coach who will take Irish Men’s hockey even higher in the World rankings. I wish him every success. His first venture is Argentina, which promises to be a baptism of fire, but I have every confidence that Ireland will do extremely well there under his guidance”
Captain of the Green Machine, Ronan Gormley was also keen to express his thoughts on the new appointment “Andrew is a world class appointment and a coach of very high calibre. I am really looking forward to working under his leadership and I am confident that his expertise will push the Irish Senior Men’s squad further along its path of continual improvement.”
Meredith will take charge of the squad in November. He will select his Champions Challenge squad post their upcoming training camp in Pinoke, (Amstleveem), Holland (5th – 9th November) where players will have their chance to impress the new coach, the details of which will be announced in the next few days.
Meredith’s first official tournament as Coach will be the upcoming Champions Challenge in Quilmes, Argentina taking place from November 24th – 2nd December 2012.
The recruitment process for the National Women’s Coach is currently on-going.