BY ROD GILMOUR
Germany women have heightened the rivalry with defending champions England following the news that Brett Garrard will join Jami Mulders as assistant coach for this summer’s EuroHockey Championships in Amsterdam.
Garrard, who coaches domestic champions Surbiton, agreed to join England’s group rivals on a short-term contract, The Hockey Paper understands.
He will start his role at the Four Nations event ahead of the EuroHockey tournament in August.
England will likely have five Surbiton players in their line-up as they bid to defend their title from 2015, won on a thrilling shoot out against Holland in London.
“I’m looking forward to it and it will be nice to see them in that environment,” said Garrard. “This is the first time I’ve been able to commit to a senior team and it’s great to go to a major tournament.”
Garrard will assist Mulders, who coached Germany to Olympic bronze, with the pair having first played against each other 20 years ago.
Garrard has been pivotal behind Surbiton ladies’ rise to become English hockey’s most successful team in the last four years.
They won an unprecedented 53 matches over a three-year period until February when Leicester ended the run. But they still went on to become double champions last season.
The Germany job will represent Garrard’s first senior international coaching role – he did coach Scotland under-21’s for a short time – after retiring from international hockey in 2008.
Garrard added: “I want to enjoy the summer and the challenge that comes with it. If opportunities come on the back of it then great.”
England will play the team known as Die Danas in their second group stage game on August 20.
England play their first match against Ireland on August 19, which will mark one year since Team GB’s historic Olympic women’s hockey gold.
Danny Kerry’s side then play Scotland in their final round robin clash.