Ireland Umpire and Coaching Talent Included in EuroHockey Selections

Top Irish Umpire Talent featured in EuroHockey Selections

Hockey Ireland is pleased to report that Irish umpire Sarah Craig has been selected for EuroHockey’s Umpire Development Programme (UDP).


The UDP is Eurohockey’s premier umpire development programme, targeted at highly talented young umpires who show the potential to become international top-level umpires. Sarah was selected along with seven other umpires from England, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands to become part of the 16th group of this programme.


The programme runs for two years and provides umpires with mentors across Europe, with two seminars and a guaranteed European appointment for each year of the programme. The UDP has proven to be a great way to develop top level umpires with previous graduates including Sarah Wilson, Laurine Delforge, Marcin Grochal and Jakub Mejzlik.


Irish graduates of this programme include Geoff Conn, Shane O’Donnell, Ellie Duffy and Ali Keogh, while Ray O’Connor, Claire Kelly, Tom Goode and Carol Metchette have been mentors on the programme.


Sarah was selected for group 16 based on her performances in the Umpire for Nations programme that ran this summer in Breda. Sarah’s hockey background includes playing at Mossley, Owls and Pegasus, along with Ulster Junior Inter Provincial Squads. She has been on provincial and national panels since October 2020, and is now a regular at EY Hockey League level. She is a member of the National Umpire Academy and will continue to be mentored at home in this programme concurrent to her UDP experiences.


If others wish to start on the umpiring ladder, there are a number of options for all levels: Fundamentals of umpiring:

Club umpire programme:

Young umpires with promise who may be eligible for the National Umpiring Academy should get in touch with to find out next steps


Top Irish Coaching Talent also featured in EuroHockey Selections

Hockey Ireland is also pleased to report that Ireland’s Eimear Cregan features in EuroHockey’s announcement of the new coaches chosen to take part in the Top Coaches Programme (TCP).

In addition, Ireland’s Kenny Carroll, Kay Gaffney, Leanne King and Jack Kyle have been chosen to participate in the Coaches for Europe (C4E) programme, following the selection process by the EuroHockey Coaching Committee.

“We hope all coaches have a great experience on the programmes,” said Chair of the EuroHockey Coaching Committee Inez Cooper.

“For those who may be disappointed at missing out on selection for this year, there will be another opportunity next year!”

The TCP is an international coaching programme which is designed to support coaches who want to work at an elite level within the game.

Exploring the principles of coaching, devising and developing strategic nous, evolving a coaching philosophy and understanding the management of teams and individual athletes are all part of this comprehensive, world class programme.

The C4E programme is aimed at coaches with the potential to become a high performance coach, either with top club teams or national teams. It focuses on developing a philosophy of coaching incorporating individual technical and tactical skills as well as developing a wide knowledge and understanding of team tactics.

Eight new coaches have been added to the TCP programme, joining nine currently in their second year of the programme.

In C4E, there are 10 new additions joining 13 participants who have advanced to their second year.

Top Coaches Programme

Year Name NA
2 Ion Camio Lopez ESP
2 Olivier Coulon BEL
2 Helen Jelley ENG
2 Robbie Turner ENG
2 Tiago Ventosa POR
2 Tomáš Procházka CZE
2 Dawid Zimnicki POL
2 Kelly Fillingham SCO
2 Facundo Quiroga SUI
1 Ivana Dellera Mourelle POR
1 Marcell Álló HUN
1 Martin van der Rakt NED
1 Florian Steyrer AUT
1 Philippe Maxence BEL
1 Federico Tanuscio LUX
1 Bruno Michielssen FRA
1 Eimear Cregan IRL

Coaches for Europe 

Year Name NA
2 Louise Casneuf BEL
2 Jack Kyle IRL
2 Patrícia Ângelo POR
2 Barbora Čecháková CZE
2 Leanne King IRL
2 Matteo Vaccargiu ITA
2 Benjamin Guinotte BEL
2 Martin Vig Rasmussen DEN
2 Kay Gaffney IRL
2 Francisco Antonio Uzal Lorente ESP
2 Martin Capouch CZE
2 Chris Attard MLT
2 Luka Vegič SLO
1 Donata Grigienė LTU
1 Stefanía Piris ESP
1 Sofia Darnay ESP
1 Amjad Munir NOR
1 Felix Hörnschemeyer SWE
1 Kenny Carroll IRL
1 Vojtěch Zajíc CZE
1 Felix Kessler AUT
1 Nick Giles ENG
1 Varol Vadar TUR