INPHO/FFU/Stanislas Brochier
Calling Time

I'm done: Gene Muller steps down as Ireland's hockey coach

The South African brought the Irish women’s team to within one match of Olympic qualification.

GENE MULLER, COACH of the Irish National Women’s Hockey team, has announced his decision to step down from the role.

The South African took over from Riet Kuper in October 2006 and led Ireland to their first ever Olympic Qualifier final, but will leave his role at the end of May.

However, they lost 4-1 to Belgium to miss out on a place in this summer’s London Games and Muller felt that it was time to move on.

“I have known for some time that this Olympic cycle would be my last for Ireland. I have thoroughly enjoyed coaching the women’s national team,” he said in a statement issued by Irish Hockey.

Muller went on to thank the squad of players that he almost led to glory on Sunday.

“Thank you for your commitment, passion, and efforts over the last few years. You always treated me graciously and respectfully. I wish you only the best in the future and will follow you with the enthusiasm of a typical Irish fan.”

Ireland captain Alex Speers paid tribute to Muller, saying: “On behalf of all the girls in the squad I would like to thank Gene for all his work over the last five and a half years and in particular the last 18 months of CPP (Central Preparation Program).

“His vision, drive and belief in this group of players brought about CPP and his hard work, commitment and dedication brought us to the final last Sunday. As captain it has been a pleasure to work with Gene and we wish him, Elise and Neev all the best in the future.”

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