Hockey Ireland and sponsors SoftCo have forged a new initiative to support hockey goalkeeping excellence entitled ‘The Goalie Club’.
It will work with coaches and emerging talent throughout the country to develop key skills, and will see the development of a national team of goalkeeper coaches headed by David Fitzgerald, the Rio 2016 Olympian.
This three-year initiative will include one of the world’s leading goalkeeping coaches, Nigel Henderson, who will lead on instruction and who is responsible for the emergence of David Harte and Ayeisha McFerran, both current Ireland international goalkeepers.
The additional SoftCo funding will also support the creation of a digital content series of Nigel’s expert coaching tutorials, available to affiliated coaches throughout the country to develop the next generation of stars and includes the active involvement of the current crop of Internationals including Harte, Jamie Carr, McFerran and Lizzie Murphy.
The Goalie Club reaffirms SoftCo’s longstanding commitment to growth and development of hockey in Ireland which began in 2018 when SoftCo became the lead sponsor of the Women’s Senior Team who won Silver in the 2018 FIH World Cup. The partnership was further extended when SoftCo became the lead sponsor to the Men’s Senior Team, as well as the U21/ National development squads for girls and boys in 2021.
“We’re delighted to announce this new initiative. It’s such an exciting time with the Men’s side participating in the FIH Pro League and both Senior teams competing in January’s Olympic Qualifiers. We are particularly pleased to expand our partnership with Hockey Ireland to include the support of underage coaching and online skills training to help develop the future stars of the sport,” said Jim Coffey, co-Founder, SoftCo.
Hockey Ireland CEO, Anne McCormack added: “SoftCo continue to share our vision for the growth of our sport and the development of our hockey talent, and this new Goalie Club initiative is a great example of where the partnership can deliver real impact. More than that, it provides us a framework for further digital content and coaching excellence which will hold us in good stead as we look to an ever brightening future.”