Irish hockey have announced Craig Fulton as the National Men’s Hockey Coach. Fulton who is no stranger to Ireland will commence his role at the start of April before leading the side to Malaysia for the Champions Challenge I Tournament taking place 26th April – 4th May. Fulton, who will be based in Ireland, previously lived and coached in Ireland both at a club level and as Assistant National Coach to the Men’s Irish Team in 2006-2009.
Fulton comes to the role with experience both as a player achieving 191 national caps for South Africa, including competing at the 1996 Atlanta and 2004 Athens Olympics, as well as 8 years coaching at the highest level including National Men’s Assistant Coach to Ireland (2006 -2009), National Women’s Assistant Coach to South Africa (2011) and National Men’s Assistant Coach to South Africa (2013-2014).
Commenting on his appointment Fulton was clearly excited about the new role “I am delighted to be given this opportunity to coach the Irish National Men’s Team. I have always reflected fondly on my previous coaching experiences in Ireland with club and country. I look forward to working with this talented Irish team with the sole focus of qualifying the team for Rio 2016.”
Mike Heskin, Irish Hockey Chief Executive, was pleased with the addition of Fulton to the team “I am delighted with our new appointment. Craig brings to this team invaluable Olympic experience as a player and World Cup experience as a coach. He has recently served as Assistant Coach to the South African Men’s Team and has previously served as Assistant Coach to Ireland for over 90 tests. His experience in Ireland provides him with an in-depth knowledge of both the Irish team and Irish hockey and will help him to hit the ground running when he arrives in April. This will prove invaluable in our preparation for the Olympic Qualification process which begins in the spring of 2015 with World League 2 in the USA. I am looking forward to working with Craig and am certain that he along with Darren Smith, our Women’s Head coach will move Irish Hockey forward on the international stage”