Passmore given task of taking hockey to next level

IRISH men’s coach Dave Passmore has been appointed High Performance Director for the Irish Hockey Association.

Reporting directly to the chief executive, Passmore will have full responsibility for the identification and development of elite hockey talent in Ireland (men and women).

He’ll also continue to serve as coach to the senior men’s team, a role which the IHA say will be reassessed in 2008 after the Beijing Olympics campaign.

Passmore had previously been in the job of Acting High Performance Director and has convinced the IHA that he has what it takes to fill the role for the longer term.

“Dave has done a wonderful job since joining Irish hockey this year,” commented IHA chief Paul Varian.

“He has been instrumental in developing high performance planning initiatives that are already showing results in our national teams.

“His input has also been crucial in showing hockey to be worthy of early inclusion in the plans for the new sports development complex at Abbottstown. We’re delighted to be able to offer him a permanent role at the Association and look forward to continuing our progress with him.”

Said Passmore: “We have made significant progress in shifting the culture and attitudes within the high performance arena of Irish Hockey. Our teams hit all their targets this year, so now the job becomes harder and we must aim higher than ever.

“My major challenge of the next couple of weeks is to produce a high performance plan that is dynamic, robust and will produce the athletes that can really compete at major world events in the longer term.

“The Irish Sports Council and Campus & Stadium Ireland Development Ltd have given us their backing, with much needed facility support, but we still require radical changes to the development of our athletes to ensure we fulfil our potential in the longer term. Change can be unsettling and uncomfortable, but I have to ensure we do not sit in a comfort zone.”

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