The Irish Olympic Handball Association is delighted to announce that former Ireland Rugby coach, Eddie O’Sullivan has been appointed as High Performance Advisor.  His role will be to provide a more professional approach to national team programs at the IOHA.

In professionalising their approach, IOHA have bolstered their high performance unit with the additional appointment of Toni Gerona Salaet (FC Barcelona) as national team coach, David Matthews (800M dual Olympian and Cork hurling fitness coach) as Fitness Coach and Stephen McIvor (former Irish rugby international) as Sports Psychologist, alongside Eddie O’Sullivan.

It heralds a first for the organization who boast numbers in excess of 5000 now playing the sport in Ireland at schools level.

Ireland is embarking on a challenging fixture list in the coming years, beginning with the European Championship in 2014.  Preparations are now underway for the qualifying tournaments for the Europeans in June where Ireland will face Romania, Israel and Belgium and the inclusion of expert consultants is seen as a necessary step towards achieving success.

Eddie O’Sullivan on his role – “It is a very exciting time for Olympic Handball in Ireland. The growth of the game nationwide and the structures being put in place around the National Team gives the sport a tremendous opportunity to advance within the European rankings in the near future. I am looking forward to assisting the organisation in
accelerating that development.”

Commenting on behalf of the IOHA, Fintan Lyons, President -”We are delighted to have Eddie on board in this advisory capacity. Eddie is a talented sport’s professional with a great track record of success. We are a small sport but we hope that Eddie can impart some of his knowledge and experience to the organisation to help bring us to the next level. Together with the appointment of our national team coach, Toni Gerona, and the support staff, we aim to give the Irish national team the tools to give their very best in the international arena. We consider these appointments to our new High Performance Unit a statement of intent about the level we want to take Olympic handball to in Ireland”

Currently ranked 41 out of 50 nations in Europe, the IOHA’s new approach is certain to accelerate the nation’s progress and lays a marker of intent towards the 2016 Olympics.