Barry Middleton has taken another step forwards in his coaching career by taking over the head coach role at Holcombe Hockey Club, replacing the long-serving Julian Halls. Meanwhile, current England international Nick Bandurak will take over as the club’s women’s coach.
Middleton, 38, has been playing Premier Division hockey while also coaching GB Hockey’s development programme since retiring from the international scene.
The club said that Halls’ contract period had come to an end after 12 years at Holcombe, where he established the men’s side as a staple Premier Division team.
“Julian’s work ethic has been epitomised by his squads and has been one of the major reasons that has enabled the club to maintain these Premier Division positions,” said David South, Holcombe’s president.
“Julian’s coaching has progressed during his time with the club and he now acts as an advisor and a coach to the coaches of European hockey.
“From the foundations he has laid it is our aim to continue the success Holcombe have achieved under his guidance.”
Meanwhile, Bandurak was announced as Holcombe women’s coach for next season.
The Hockey Writers’ Club player of the year replaces South African International and ex-Holcombe men’s first team player Chris Bowen, who took over at short notice last season after Kevin Johnson joined Hockey Wales full-time.
“Chris not only had little time to prepare for the coming season but also lost two of our most high-profile players so had a lot to cope with,” added South. “His skill and hard work meant the club achieved the goal he was set to maintain the Women’s 1st XI’s position in the Vitality Premier Division.
Bandurak will have New Zealand international Hayden Phillips as his assistant coach.
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