Graham Reid resigns as chief coach of Indian men’s hockey team

Graham Reid has tendered his resignation as chief coach of India men's hockey team, day after the conclusion of India's disastrous campaign.

Mumbai: A day after the conclusion of India’s disastrous campaign in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 in which the team finished a disappointing joint-9th, Graham Reid has tendered his resignation as chief coach of India men’s hockey team.

The former Australia coach and player submitted his resignation to Hockey India President Dr Dilip Tirkey in Bhubaneswar, Hockey India informed in a release on Monday.

Hosts India, who were touted as a medal contender after ending a four-decade drought at the Olympics by winning a bronze medal in Tokyo Games in 2021, finished a disappointing 9th along with Argentina after losing to New Zealand in the Crossover match.

Along with Reid, the men’s team’s analytical coach Greg Clark and scientific advisor Mitchell David Pemberton also put in their resignation on Monday morning. All three will be serving their notice period over the next month.

The three decided to quit after the President of Hockey India along with Secretary General Bholanath Singh met with players and the support staff of the team to understand and analyse the team’s performance and strategy for the way ahead.

Reid had taken over as chief coach of the Indian men’s team in April 2019 and his initial tenure was till August 2020 but the contract period was extended after the Tokyo Olympics were postponed for a year.

Reid and his team of support staff have been part of the Indian Team’s historic bronze medal feat at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, silver Commonwealth Games medal in 2022, as well as securing third place in the FIH Hockey Pro League season in 2021/22.

Among Reid’s successful outings as a chief coach with the team includes the FIH Series Final title victory in 2019 and qualifying for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 by beating Russia in the Qualifiers in Bhubaneswar back in 2019.

Talking about his stint with the Indian side since 2019, Reid said, “It is now time for me to step aside and hand over the reins to the next management. It has been an honour and privilege to work with the team and Hockey India and I have enjoyed every moment of this epic journey. I wish the team all the very best.”

Having accepted Reid’s resignation along with that of Greg Clark and Mitchell Pemberton, Hockey India President Dr Dilip Tirkey said, “India will always have gratitude towards Graham Reid and his team of support staff who have brought good results to the country, particularly the Olympic Games. As all journeys move to different phases, it is now time for us to move on towards a new approach for our team.”

Reid has helped the team develop as a strong defensive unit and they displayed that progress at the World Cup as they finished undefeated in regulation time, losing to New Zealand in a Sudden death shoot-out in the Crossover stage.

Hockey India will now initiate the process for the appointment of a new coach as they have a break before India’s next round of FIH Pro League matches. Early selection of a new coach will help India prepare well for the Asian Games in China in September this year as that is a qualifying event for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

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