Ireland head coach Alexander Cox has resigned from his position after just one year in the job. 

Cox had been contemplating his future after relegation to the second tier of the European Championships.

A 4-0 defeat to Wales sealed Ireland's fate.  

Qualification for the Tokyo Olympics begins in just over two months.  

Cox said "After taking some time to reflect on the past year, and the goals we have both achieved and failed to achieve, I have come to the decision that it is best for me to step back from this role with the Irish men’s squad. 

"It was a hard decision to make, and I’m grateful to Hockey Ireland for the opportunity it has afforded me. I have proudly sang the Irish hockey anthem before every game we played. I would like to thank the players for their commitment over the past year and I hope they go on to do well in the future. 

"It has been a tough few weeks, but credit to the players and staff as they have given it their all at every stage.

"We just didn’t manage to pull together the result we felt we are capable of. At this time, I feel it is best for me to step back as coach so the team can have a fresh start towards the important Olympic qualifier."

Irish hockey performance director Adam Grainger said: "Although disappointed with this news, we are happy we were able to benefit from an experienced coach of Alex's calibre. 

"We’d like to thank Alex for his time and for helping Ireland to secure an Olympic qualifier this autumn through the FIH Series Finals last June. Hockey Ireland are currently exploring a number of options as the squad continues to focus on their Olympic qualifier later this year."

He has previously held the roles of assistant coach with both the Dutch men’s and women’s national teams, winning gold at the 2012 London Olympics with the latter.

He has been the head coach of Kampong men’s team since 2012 and continues in that role.