England Hockey have today announced the appointment of David Ralph as Head Coach of the Great Britain and England women’s international hockey teams, replacing Mark Hager, who resigned after the Tokyo Olympics.
Ralph has been Assistant Coach to the teams for the past four-and-a-half years as well as a spell as interim Head Coach on two occasions, one where he led England to EuroHockey bronze in 2017.
“I am delighted to be appointed to the position of Head Coach for the Great Britain and England women’s teams. Having worked with the teams since early 2017, it is a privilege and an honour to be given the opportunity to continue working with such an excellent group of players and staff.” said Ralph.
“This is a programme that has a rich history of success and has been at the forefront of raising the profile of women’s team sport, and I relish the opportunity to continue that work and write our own history as I believe that we possess a great deal of quality within the group.”
Ed Barney, Great Britain’s Performance Director described Ralph as the ‘outstanding candidate’ who impressed a selection panel which included Tracey Neville MBE (head coach of the Commonwealth gold-winning England women’s netball team), Paul Thompson MBE (Australian-born multiple medal-winning rowing coach) and former international hockey players Katy Roberts and Simon Mantell.
Ralph, a former Scotland international, has also been assistant coach to the GB men, including a spell as their interim head coach – and coached both the England men’s U21 and indoor teams.
“There is a fantastic foundation to build on, due to the tremendous work that has already taken place in creating a vision and a culture that the team pursues and lives by. This is a large part of why this role is incredibly exciting. This is a group of people that I fully believe in and have loved working with, and there are some tremendous tournaments, challenges and opportunities coming up in the next few years that I look forward to attacking them alongside everyone.”
Ralph will have to wait until February for his first competitive action at the helm, when England travel to face Argentina in the FIH Pro League.