Indian men’s hockey team chief coach Graham Reid submitted his resignation to Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey on Monday, a day after the conclusion of the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela.
Tirkey, 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.
The analytical coach Greg Clark and scientific advisor Mitchell David Pemberton also tendered their resignation on Monday morning. All three will be serving their notice period over the next month.
Reid and his team of support staff have been part of the Indian team’s historic bronze medal win at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2022, as well as securing third place in the FIH Hockey Pro League season in 2021/22.
Among Reid’s successful outing as chief coach with the team includes the FIH Series Final title victory in 2019, subsequently the team broke no sweat in making the qualification for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 when they won 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 handover the reigns 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 Greg and Mitchell’s, 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.”
India’s World Cup campaign, as hosts, came to an early end after the team was knocked out in the crossover match against New Zealand. The team had been leading 2-0 and later 3-1 before defensive errors allowed the Black Sticks to get back into the game and take the match into the shootout. The Indians lost 4-5 in the shootout, sending them into the classification matches.
There were great expectations from the team given the performance at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, and even in the five-match Test series against Australia. Playing at home too gave the Indians an advantage, but that also proved to be a burden.
“Pressure and expectations come into the mix but those are not the only things to blame. We made some mistakes which we normally don’t do,” Reid had said after the loss to New Zealand.
India went on to win 8-0 against Japan and then beat South Africa 5-2 in the classification matches to finish joint-ninth with Argentina. The last time India finished on the podium of a World Cup was when they won the event in 1975, which remains the only time the team has won the title.