Canada have lured Rio gold medal winner Danny Kerry back to hockey in a significant coup as head coach, with the crowdfunding women’s programme having “secured one of the all-time best”.
Kerry left England and GB Hockey in January 2022 after a 17-year tenure which included men’s and women’s coach, as well as a stint as performance director, and garnering European and Olympic gold.
The 52-year-old has worked as a consultant across sports, as well as becoming training coordinator at England Rugby, which proved a short-lived role when Eddie Jones was sacked.
Kerry joins world No 15 Canada fresh off the women’s team finishing a career-best fifth at last summer’s Commonwealth Games. However, it will be a contrasting job to the well-funded GB Hockey programme, with Canada women having crowdfunded their way to tournaments in recent years.
Kerry flew to Canada recently and will now guide the team towards the 2023 Pan American Games and qualification for the 2024 Olympics.
“What struck me was the ‘can do’ attitude, the warmth of welcome and a strong sense of growing the sport in Canada,” Kerry said. “I hope to support building a strong common purpose and excitement in what we are going after, why, and how.
“The short-term campaign is the preparation for the Pan American Games. Arriving there with a strong identity of how we play, and purpose about our play. In developing and bringing these qualities, we will be giving ourselves the best chance of progressing in that tournament. We will also be setting ourselves up for future and continued growth.”
Field Hockey Canada CEO Susan Ahrens said that in signing Kerry they had “quite simply an outstanding coach and leader.”
She added: “World class coaching and technical leadership is essential to fulfill our ambitions. In Danny, we have secured one of the all-time best. Delighted as I am for our women’s program and athletes, I am also pleased for our community as a whole, as Danny’s reach and impact will undoubtedly extend out in positive and lasting ways to the benefit of all.”
Emma Bray, Field Hockey Canada’s high performance director, said: “We know Danny is going to have a massive impact within our Canadian field hockey community and we cannot wait to get started.”
The women’s national team will kickstart their 2023 campaign with a centralised training camp in Vancouver in April.
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