Australian Graham Reid was appointed the new coach of the Indian men's hockey team on Monday. Reid replaces Harendra Singh, who was removed in January, following the World Cup. The 54-year-old will join the team in Bengaluru shortly for the on-going National Camp at Sports Authority of India.
Here's all you need to know about the 54-year-old.
Who is Graham Reid?
Queensland-born Reid has an impressive career in hockey, both as player and coach. A defensive midfielder in his playing days, Reid won four Champions Trophy golds, a bronze at the 1990 World Cup in Lahore, in addition to silver at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
As coach, Reid assisted Ric Charlesworth with the Australian national team, taking over temporarily for a Champions Trophy-winning campaign in Melbourne in 2012, before leading Australia to the World League Final gold in Raipur in 2015. Australia claimed their second Champions Trophy in 2016 under Reid with a shootout win over India in the final in London.
Reid left the Australia job after the Rio Olympics, and had since been working with Dutch club Amsterdam HC -- whom he took to a runners-up finish in the competitive first division in 2018 -- and assisting Max Caldas with the Netherlands national team. Together, they oversaw a European Championship win and second-place finish to Belgium at the World Cup in Bhubaneswar in December. On March 21, Reid left the Dutch club, seeking a "new challenge" outside of Amsterdam.
What does Reid bring to the table?
As former assistant to Charlesworth, Reid would have studied the Indian teams over the past decade closely and should be familiar with the established players. Charlesworth also served briefly as India coach, and can fill Reid in on what to expect from the Indian hockey fraternity, as can his compatriots David John and Chris Ciriello, who are with the current Indian team as High Performance Director and assistant coach, respectively.
Reid should bring Charlesworth's famous work ethic and dedication to fitness to the Indian team. As a Queenslander, Reid has helped shape the careers of future Australian legends such as Jamie Dwyer, Troy Elder and Mark Knowles during his early forays into coaching.
With India likely to only play the Hockey Series finals and Olympic qualifiers this year, the relative workload would be lesser on the new coach, giving him ample time to familiarise himself with the younger players that are breaking into the senior team.
How has India's experience with foreign coaches been?
In a word, patchy. With the exception of Dutchman Roelant Oltmans, who held the job for four years, no foreign coach has been able to stay with the Indian team for too long.
The first of them was German Gerard Rach, and with the exception of Spaniard Jose Brasa, the other foreign coaches have all been from either Australia or the Netherlands. Virtually all of them have been victims of Indian hockey's inability to produce results in big tournaments, including Harendra's incumbent Sjoerd Marijne, who now coaches the women's team.
One of the reasons for Oltmans' longevity was a phase of notable performances -- bronze at the World League Final in Raipur, and a Champions Trophy silver the following year, before making the knockouts of the Olympics for the first time in three decades.
(This article was originally published on March 27 when Reid's name was forwarded by Hockey India to the sports ministry as the top recommendation for the post of India coach.)