Bobby Crutchley to coach England hockey through to Rio 2016 Olympics
Former Team Bath Buccaneers chief Bobby Crutchley has been appointed as new head coach of the England men's hockey team.
The 42-year-old, who still lives in Bath, has been an assistant coach to the senior men’s programme since 2005 and was part of Great Britain's coaching staff at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
He succeeds Jason Lee, who has been appointed as head coach of the senior women's squad.
“As someone who has a strong passion for coaching and for hockey in Great Britain, I am absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity," said Crutchley.
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“With personnel changes following the London Olympics, there will be significant challenges - particularly in the short term. However, I am confident the team can evolve and continue to challenge for medals at the highest level.”
Crutchley will be responsible for the selection, preparation, coaching and performance of the England and GB teams through to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, including the 2013 and 2015 European Championships, and the World Cup and Commonwealth Games in 2014.
His first major tournament in charge will be the FIH Hockey World League semi-final in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, from June 29 to July 7.
Danny Kerry, England Hockey performance director, said: “I am really excited about Bobby’s appointment. Fundamentally he believes in the athletes and the programme we have, and that is the key building block for success.
"Bobby demonstrated not just an in-depth understanding of the challenges that come with this leadership position but also a genuine insight into what needs to and can happen.
"The insight that our coaches have to coaching and leading at this highest of levels, I believe, are a competitive edge that will stand us in good stead over the coming years. I look forward to working with Bobby and feel the programme and team is in the most capable and ambitious of hands.”
Sally Munday, England Hockey chief executive, added: “I am absolutely delighted to see Bobby progress into the head coach role.
"He has been an excellent assistant coach and through the recruitment process has demonstrated that he has the knowledge and skills to step up to leading the men’s programme.
"Bobby’s ambition reflects our values and his passion for English and British success shines through.”
Crutchley’s playing career included a Commonwealth bronze medal and the UK Player of the Year award in 1996 but he hung up his stick 14 years ago to start a coaching role in Bath.
“I was based at the university, working for them, Team Bath Buccs and England Hockey,” Crutchley told www.thisisbath.co.uk before the London 2012 Games, where Great Britain finished fourth overall.
“In 2006 I went full-time with England Hockey but I’m still living in Bath. I’ve got a lot of friends at the hockey club and I keep in touch with them.”