'The team can have a fresh start': Cox resigns as men's hockey coach ahead of Olympic qualifier

'The team can have a fresh start': Cox resigns as men's hockey coach ahead of Olympic qualifier

The Irish men's hockey coach Alexander Cox has resigned.

Cox took the role part-time in August 2018 and leaves following Ireland's relegation to the second tier of the European Championships last week.

The Dutchman leaves just two months before the national team's crucial Olympic qualifier.

Cox said that after taking time to reflect on the goal he and the team had and had not achieved during his tenure he decided it would be best for him to step back from his role.

"It was a hard decision to make, and I’m grateful to Hockey Ireland for the opportunity it has afforded me," he said in a statement this morning.

I have proudly sang the Irish hockey anthem before every game we played.

Cox thanked the players and staff and wished them well for the future.

He praised his team for giving it their all during the past number of weeks.

"We just didn’t manage to pull together the result we felt we are capable of.

"At this time, I feel it is best for me to step back as coach so the team can have a fresh start towards the important Olympic qualifier."

Performance director Adam Grainger said that he was disappointed with the news but said that the team will benefit from Cox's time with them.

He credited the coach with helping the team to secure the upcoming qualifier.

Grainger said that Hockey Ireland are "exploring a number of options" as they focus on the crucial Olympic qualifier later this year.

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