Canada: Canadian Olympic hope soars as gold medalist Danny Kerry is named the new head coach! Sport-rated
OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST TAKES REALMS FROM THE CANADIAN WOLF PACK
Field Hockey Canada is pleased to announce Olympic gold medalist Danny Kerry as the new Head Coach of the Women’s National Team.
The former England and Great Britain (GB) head coach led the GB women’s team to a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, a 2015 EuroHockey championship (with England) and an Olympic gold medal at the Games of Rio 2016.
Kerry grew up in Norfolk, UK and studied at Loughborough University and later studied Sport, Culture and Society at the University of Warwick. He received his first coaching certificate in 1994 and began combining his work as a university professor, coach in national club competition and work with the youth national teams in 1997.
Kerry became the head coach of the GB women’s team in 2005 and led the program to incredible success during his tenure, culminating in Olympic gold in 2016. In 2018, he was appointed head coach of the GB men’s team and he led the team to its first FIH Hockey Pro League Grand Final in 2019. By the time he stepped away from the GB programme, Kerry was the most successful coach in UK hockey history. After working with England Rugby and as a consultant to various sports, Kerry is now back where he feels most comfortable, on the pitch coaching and leading towards big ambitions.
The Canadian Women’s National Team just wrapped up a summer in which they played in their first FIH Hockey World Cup in 30 years, then tied their all-time best performance at the Commonwealth Games and finished fifth. The Wolf Pack is currently ranked 15th in the world and is looking to build momentum towards the 2023 Pan American Games and the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Kerry, who received the FIH Coach of the Year award in 2010 and 2016 and a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 2017, is delighted to take up the role and says he is looking forward to starting with the skilled and eager group. On a recent trip to Canada, he said he was motivated by the attitude and enthusiasm of the hockey community in general.
“I met several of the Women’s National Team athletes, NextGen players and members of the Canadian field hockey community in general. What impressed me was the ‘can do’ attitude, the warmth of the welcome and a strong sense of growing the sport in Canada,” Kerry said. “I look forward to supporting the building of a strong common purpose and enthusiasm in what we seek, why and how.”
For Kerry, the immediate goals are clear, but he also intends to contribute to the success and growth of field hockey in Canada.
“The short-term campaign is preparation for the Pan American Games. Getting there with a strong identity for how we play and a purpose for our game. By developing and bringing these qualities, we will give ourselves the best chance to progress in that tournament. We will also prepare for continued future growth,” Kerry said.
THE PERFECT FIT FOR THE CANADIAN WOLF PACK
Field Hockey Canada CEO Susan Ahrens is delighted to continue to bring in top-tier international coaches to support the senior men’s and women’s national teams. She said that Kerry is the perfect person to lead the Women’s National Team as they prepare for an exciting stretch of competition and qualification.
“We are delighted to welcome Danny to Canada. His resume, from Olympic bronze and gold, European championship to MBE, needs no introduction in the national and world hockey community,” Ahrens said. “He is just an exceptional coach and leader.”
Ahrens said that quality coaching at the international level is an organization’s priority and Field Hockey Canada is fortunate to welcome Kerry to the hockey community.
“World-class coaching and technical leadership is essential to fulfilling our ambitions. In Danny, we have secured one of the best of all time. Delighted as I am for our program of women and athletes, I am also pleased for our community as a whole, as Danny’s reach and impact will undoubtedly spread in positive and lasting ways to the benefit of all.”
Emma Bray, director of high performance for Field Hockey Canada, says the process took time. But the intentionality and patience put into appointing the right person has paid off.
“We have been very serious about appointing a leader to our Women’s National Team who will help us create an environment for joint performance,” Bray said. “Danny brings a variety of fundamentals to our high-performance team, but his passion for training and his humility to never stop learning are two elements that are highly revered. We know Danny will have a huge impact within our Canadian field hockey community and we can’t wait to get started.”
The Women’s National Team will begin its 2023 campaign with a centralized training camp in Vancouver in early April. They will add competition elements in the summer to prepare the team for the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago.