With Furey to Halifax
by Martin Merk|14 SEP 2022
OEHV Sports Director Roger Bader and new U20 national team head coach Kirk Furey.
photo: OEHV
The Austrian Ice Hockey Association has signed Kirk Furey as new head coach of the men’s U20 national team that will compete at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship in Halifax and Moncton, Canada in the upcoming winter.

The 46-year-old replaces Marco Pewal, who resign from this position. Furey will be joined by assistant coach Mathias Lange and goaltending coach Lukas Schluderbacher, who were also part of the coaching staff at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship.

“I’ve been living with my family in Austria for 15 years, our two children were born here, it’s our homeland. Therefore it’s a great honour for me to be able to lead the red-white-red U20 national team to the IIHF World Junior Championship,” said Furey.

“For Team Austria it is not an everyday occurrence to prove itself among the best ten teams at the World Juniors and we will prepare for this tournament with a lot of respect. At the same time we want to call everybody’s attention on the ice since Austria has never won a game at the top-level World Juniors – and we want to change that.”

A native from the province of Nova Scotia where Austria will play its preliminary-round games, Furey has been living in Austria since 2007 when he joined KAC Klagenfurt first as a player before switching to coaching in 2015. The 46-year-old has been coaching Klagenfurt’s second team, the Future Team that is playing in the Alps Hockey League, since 2018 – a job he will continue to do.

“I’m very happy that we were able to find a great and experienced head coach in Kirk Furey. I know his qualities and I’m convinced that he will execute these well in this mandate. He has been working as head coach in the youth area for many years and knows most players personally. Thanks to KAC and General Manager Oliver Pilloni to make this double function possible and for the support,” said Sports Director Roger Bader, who will also be part of the team staff as head of delegation.

In Group A in Halifax, Austria will play Sweden, Czechia, Canada and Germany in the preliminary round.