Black Sticks women's assistant coach leaves to take up role with Ireland

New Zealand hockey have lost another coach, with Black Sticks women's assistant coach Sean Dancer leaving to take the job of coaching the Ireland women's national team.

Dancer, who has been with the Black Sticks women since 2009, acting as assistant coach since 2013, helped the side to a record high sixth in hockey's world rankings, as well gold at last year's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Dancer's departure comes after head coach Mark Hager quit in January. Hager's departure was followed by a review into the Black Sticks women's team, that found a negative environment.

In a media release, Dancer spoke of his feelings in leaving an organisation he's been part of for over a decade.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Hockey NZ, over the last 10 years," Dancer said in a statement.

"Apart from developing some great NZ friendships, I have also had the opportunity to coach with and learn from some of the world's best coaches in Mark Hager and Shane McLeod.

"I would like to thank the players for all their efforts, Hockey New Zealand for the opportunities, the staff for their hard work and my family and friends for all their support, that has made this last 10 years an unforgettable period of my coaching career and life."

Dancer takes on the role of Ireland coach in a seeming straight swap with Graham Shaw, who was last month confirmed as the Black Sticks womens' new coach.

Sean Dancer Source: Photosport

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