🇳🇿 New Zealand Hockey : New Zealand Women's Hockey team Coach Graham Shaw steps down
thedragflick.com/Vantage Black Sticks/William Booth Photography

Dragflick Newsdesk : New Zealand women’s hockey coach Graham Shaw steps down ahead of the Commonwealth Games to return to Ireland.

New Zealand Hockey made the announcement on Thursday that Shaw was ending his thee-year stint in charge of the Black Sticks side beaten in the quarterfinals at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

“It’s been a huge honour to guide this team through what has been the most challenging of times for any high-performance team and I’m proud of how we’ve managed those challenges” Shaw said.

“It’s been a difficult call to make with the Commonwealth Games and World Cup ahead of us this year, but I have had to weigh up what’s best for our family after being away from home and unable to visit our wider family for so long.

“It was hard to see me in the role beyond 2022, especially with the pull of family back in Ireland.

“Therefore, I thought that it’s important to step away now and let the group set itself for the long term. We’ve assembled a high calibre coaching group around the programme and I know I leave them in good hands.”

Having brought his young family over from Ireland in 2019 to take up the job, he feels like now is the best time for his family to head home after being unable to visit wider family for the past couple of years.

Co-captains Olivia Merry and Megan Hull want to pay tribute to Graham’s contribution to the team.

“We have really enjoyed our time with Graham and although we are sad to see him go, it’s totally understandable that he wants to do what is best for his family. We thank him for what he’s done for the team, especially considering the challenging circumstances of the last couple of years, and we wish him and his family all the best for this next chapter of their lives.”

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