Hager appointed Great Britain head coach

Hager appointed Great Britain head coach

11 January 2019 / 19:32
Mark Hager will aim to spearhead Team GB's Olympic defence at Tokyo 2020 after being announced as head coach of both the Great Britain and England women's hockey teams.

The Australian, who guided New Zealand women to Commonwealth Games gold in April, will first meet with the GB squad next month before their opening FIH Pro League games away to New Zealand, Australia and then China.

Hager replaces Danny Kerry, who masterminded Team GB’s memorable 2016 Olympic gold before joining the men’s side in August.

“I am very excited to be appointed head coach of the Great Britain and England women’s teams. To be given the responsibility to lead a squad that has been very successful on the world stage is something I do not take lightly,” he said.

“I look forward to the challenge of building on the foundations of the programme and I believe that my international coaching experiences with Australia and New Zealand over the past 18 years will help me lead the squad into this new exciting phase.

“There is a wealth of talent in the squad, which I have enjoyed coaching against over a number of years and I look forward to now being a part of a world class team of players and staff.”

Hager was coach of New Zealand women for almost a decade and led them to fourth place at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.

He also led Kalinga Lancers to the Hockey India League title in 2017, while as a player won the World Cup with Australia in 1986 before captaining them to Olympic bronze at Atlanta ten years later.

Hager joins ahead of a crucial year, with Great Britain competing in the FIH Pro league from February until June before Olympic qualifiers in the autumn.

“We are delighted that Mark is joining us,” said GB and England Hockey Performance Director Ed Barney.

“He was the outstanding candidate, a world class coach who will bring leadership skills and specific on-pitch strengths which will aid the women’s programme in their quest for future medals.

“With his arrival we are certain we will see the evolution of an exciting and dynamic brand of hockey over the coming months and years.”

Sportsbeat 2019