Australia’s Graham Reid was on Monday named the new coach of the India men’s hockey team. The 54-year-old will fill the position which has been lying vacant for nearly three months since the unceremonious sacking of Harendra Singh in January following a quarter-final exit at the World Cup in 2018.
He will reunite with Chris Ciriello, the assistant coach in India, who used to be one Reid’s players in the Australian team.
The former player is the latest foreign coach to take the helm of the team known for musical chairs of hockey coaches. Reid has been handed a contract till the end of 2020, which can be extended depending on his performances with the team. But the Australian’s first big challenge would be to help India qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Here’s a look at the hockey credentials of the Australian.
Decorated player, celebrated coach
Reid has a decorated playing career as the defender for Australia. He was a part of the silver medal winning team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as well as the Australian squad that won back-to-back Champions Trophy titles in 1984, 1985, 1989 and 1990.
But it is the coaching career more than that as a player that stands out.
Reid first worked with a national team when he was appointed Australia’s assistant coach in 2009. He held the position for five years before being elevated to the top position in 2014. During this tenure he guided the Australian team to their fifth consecutive Champions Trophy title in 2012.
He was at the helm as Australia extended their reign as world No 1 team. Under his guidance, they won the World League semi-final in Antwerp and went on to win the World League Final in Raipur the same year.
He was also the coach at the 2016 Rio Olympics but quit after the Kookaburras failed to finish on the podium. In 2015, Graham was inducted into the Queensland Hockey Hall of Fame
A big factor that makes Reid a strong contender for the challenging role of India coach is his association with the legendary Ric Charlesworth.
In Australia, Reid was assistant to head coach Charlesworth for six years and when the mentor hung up his boots after winning the 2014 World Cup, Reid took up the job. In his first interaction as India coach, he was quoted as saying that Charlesworth who coaxed him to apply for the India coach’s job.
Interestingly, Charlesworth also worked with Indian hockey as the men’s and women’s teams’ technical advisor for four months in 2008.
But the two have not always agreed on the same thing. According to The Hindu, Charlesworth had axed the likes of Aussie legend Jamie Dwyer after 2014 to build a new team for Rio Olympics but Reid brought them back for their experience.
Coming from Netherlands
Reid’s latest assignment before India was in The Netherlands. He moved there in 2017 to serve as the head coach of Amsterdam Club. In his recent stint, he worked as the assistant coach for the Netherlands, who won the silver medal at the 2018 men’s World Cup.
Apart from hockey, Reid has worked in mining, credit insurance, oil and gas, and retail industries as well, according to The Indian Express.
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