Sunday, May 19, 2024

Reading aim for swift return to hockey top flight

Reading HC hope to bounce back and challenge for Europe after losing their 27-season stay in the men’s top flight.

Reading lost to Old Georgians on the final day last season to the Surrey club, having seen seven notable players leave Sonning Lane in recent seasons.

The club won two of 18 games but Tim Hamilton, Reading’s performance director, said: “We remain convinced that our general approach is correct, we continue to believe in investing in the best available coaches and providing a platform for young, talented players to develop and improve.

“With new entrants into the league wielding financial muscle we continue to find it challenging to retain good talented players, but thankfully we continue to develop and attract a pipeline of excellent prospects.”

With that in mind, Reading appointed Danny Newcombe as their director of hockey, aiming to oversee the men’s and women’s sides back to the top flight. Reading men open their new life in Division One South on Sunday against Teddington.

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Newcombe also continues as head coach of the men’s side, while also taking the helm as Wales national men’s coach after Zak Jones stepped down to take up a role at GB Hockey.

Newcombe has previously worked with Jason Lee, head of the performance squad for two seasons, but the former GB and England coach will still act in a mentor after taking on roles as coach consultant with several football clubs.

Hamilton told local media: “Danny will continue to be assisted and mentored by Jason Lee. We have also appointed an exciting young South African coach, Martin Schouten, to assist the men’s 1st XI and look after the M2s.”

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