Former international player Lisa Jacob has been appointed the new manager of the Irish Women’s Hockey Team.
Jacob played with the team between 2006 and 2014, amassing 139 caps in total. She was the first Irish woman to be contracted by a Dutch Hoofdklasse club, where she played professionally for Stichtsche Cricket en Hockey Club.
Jacob signed a pro contract with Stichtsche in 2013, before retiring from international hockey the following year. She became a dual international sports player when she took up a contract to play with Ireland Women’s Rugby Sevens team for eighteen months.
In a statement released on Hockey Ireland, Jacob announced her delight at the appointment, “ I am delighted to join the Green Army…I hope in my role I can support the players and staff to prepare, perform, and fulfill their ambitious goals”.
The Enniscorthy woman takes over the role from former Pegasus and Irish player Arlene Boyles, who resigned in July. It comes as a surprising move considering the impending Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.
It was the postponement of the Games and the current pandemic that caused her to make her decision. “ It wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly but with everything that’s gone on in the world in the last three or four months, it was something in
the back of my head anyway. Covid just brought it to the front, ” Boyles told the Belfast Telegraph.
Jacob has a big job ahead of her, considering it is the Irish Women’s Hockey Team’s first-ever qualification for the Olympic Games after they won against Canada last December.
Thankfully Jacob is no stranger to coaching, as she has been an assistant coach to the Irish U16 and U18’s girls’ hockey teams.
Jacob is also a member of the Hockey Ireland board and has played a prominent role in the 20×20 campaign, which seeks to get more women into sports. She set up a female coaching network called ‘Raise Her Game’ which mentors up and coming female coaches.
The games were postponed until 2021 earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and will take place next summer in Tokyo. The current Irish hockey team will be the first to compete at such an elite level. With a new coach and an end goal in sight, here’s hoping these ladies in green can do us proud next year.
Image Credit: Hockey Ireland