VALE ALAN SHEEHY
It is with immense sadness that Australian Masters Hockey announces that Alan Sheehy, our Chairman of Selection Panels and long-term coach of the 45s team, died suddenly on Monday. we extend our sincere condolences to Alan's partner and family.
Alan has made an extraordinary contribution to hockey in Australia, at many levels, since the 1960s. He was deeply involved in playing, coaching and administration in Victoria, The ACT and Queensland.
Alan was responsible for a significant improvement in the standard of selection of teams to represent Australia in International Matches in recent years. His knowledge of the characteristics that a player needed to possess at the international level was imparted to our selection panels with the result that the best possible teams were selected with integrity and objectivity. He was respected by all those who benefitted from his coaching, particularly the members of our 45s teams.
We will miss him greatly.
Alan's Funeral will be held on Friday 30th October 2015, at the Greyson and Wise Chapel, 26 Wises Road, Maroochydore, commencing at 1pm.
Al Sheehy came to Canberra from Moorabin Hockey club in Victoria in the early 1970’s. He joined the St Patricks Hockey Club and quickly established himself as a regular first grader winning a premiership with the Club in 1974. During his time at St Pats he also filled the role of Secretary for the Club sometimes utilising his advocacy skills defending players at the Judiciary. Throughout this time Al assisting in coaching and mentoring younger players perhaps a signal as to where his future interests might lie.
In 1980 Alan retired from playing to focus on umpiring A1 mens games and he quickly established himself as the best umpire in Canberra for a number of years. He understood the players and adopted a no-nonsense approach in making good decisions and not tolerating bad behaviour from players. Off the field, he was a good guy and was well respected in the local hockey fraternity.
In the 1990's with the newly established South Hockey Club Alan wanted to be part of the group and provided sponsorship for many years which met the cost of the players uniforms and other operating expenses. Souths soon became a force in the A2 and A3 competitions and Alan attended games getting on well with the Souths players socially (mostly older players who wanted to keep playing at the highest possible level). He also became their resident umpire as well as assisting in the management of the club providing input and advice to the group.
Alan moved to Queensland in the 1990’s however kept a close association with ACT Hockey through established friendships and catch ups at Australian Veterans Championships from year to year.
In Queensland, Alan settled on the Sunshine Coast and joined the Buderim Rebels Hockey Club, where he was a member of the coaching panel. He mentored senior and junior coaches and trained junior players with one-on-one coaching sessions. He was also the coach of the senior ladies team.
Alan was heavily involved in Masters hockey and coaches many Sunshine Coast teams in the Queensland State Championships over 15 years. Additionally, Alan played in and then coached Queensland Masters State teams from 2001 to 2015.
Alan has been an invaluable resource for the Queensland Masters Committee. Gil Voysey, the Coordinator of Masters Hockey Queensland said that Alan was a wise counsel to him on any matters involving Masters Hockey.