Hockey India has identified Netherlands’ assistant coach Graham Reid as the new chief coach of the men’s team, thus ending a two-month hunt to fill the position.
The federation officials, along with Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra, met Sports Authority of India (SAI) director general Neelam Kapur and executive director (teams division) Radhica Sreeman here on Tuesday and proposed the 54-year-old Australian’s name as Harendra Singh’s successor. Reid’s name has subsequently been forwarded to the sports ministry for a formal approval, which is expected in a couple of days.
While the terms of Reid’s contract are not yet known, a source said he is likely to be offered a long-term contract, till the 2022 World Cup. That, however, will depend on the team’s performance at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, for which the team is yet to qualify. It is learnt that Reid’s compatriot Jay Stacy’s name was also discussed during Tuesday’s meeting.
Hockey India, however, has not yet divulged the names of other candidates who applied for the role and the selection process that was followed. India have been without a coach since January after the governing body sacked Harendra citing the team’s inability to defend Asian Games gold medal in Jakarta, which was followed by an average World Cup outing. He was the second coach to be sacked within a year following the team’s dismal run in 2018.
A two-time Olympian who has made 130 appearances for the Kookaburras, Reid did his coaching apprenticeship under legendary Australian Ric Charlesworth. He was Charlesworth’s assistant in the Australian set-up for five years before taking over as the chief coach in 2014. Reid was Australia’s coach at the Rio Olympics but stepped down after the team could not manage a podium finish.
He then took up the dual responsibility in Netherlands — as the national team assistant coach and the chief coach of Amsterdam. Last week, however, he was fired as Amsterdam’s coach after the team lost 8-2 to HGC in a league match. Amsterdam said the disappointing result coupled with interest from ‘outside Amsterdam’ were the reasons they parted ways with Reid.
Azlan Shah Cup: India beat hosts Malaysia 4-2
Ipoh: India struck four times after a goal-less first quarter to tame hosts Malaysia 4-2, climbing to the second spot in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament, here Tuesday. Sumit Kumar (17th min), Sumit Kumar junior (27th min), drag flicker Varun Kumar and Mandeep Singh (58th min) found the net for India. Razie Rahim (27th min) and Firhan Ashari (57th min) scored for the hosts. With two wins and a draw, India moved up to the second position in the table with seven points behind Korea (7).
India had beaten Japan 2-0 in the first match before playing a 1-1 draw against Korea. Birendra Lakra was named the man-of-the-match for his efforts in helping India defend their lead. India will next take on Canada on Wednesday.