New coach for SA hockey team

Fabian Gregory (Gavin Withers, Action Pix)
Fabian Gregory (Gavin Withers, Action Pix)
Cape Town - The South African Hockey Association have named the new head coach of the national men’s team.

Investec South Africa women’s hockey team assistant coach Fabian Gregory has been appointed to replace Charlie Pereira. His appointment is up until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Gregory has been the national women's team assistant coach since 2005 and has headed up the SA Hockey Coach Education portfolio for the last eight years, playing an integral role in developing SA Hockey's coach accreditation framework, which is endorsed by the Netherlands’ national hockey board as well as world hockey controlling body the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

He was also head coach to a number of national junior men’s teams at Under-17 and Under-18 level, as well as SA Under-21 head coach for the 2009 Women’s Junior World Cup.

"SA Hockey are pleased to appoint Fabian Gregory as the new SA men’s head coach,” says SA Hockey Association CEO Marissa Langeni.

“Fabian comes with a wealth of coaching experience that spans over 19 years and has impeccable experience at major world hockey events including Test series, World Cups, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics. He has been appointed up until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games."

“It is a wonderful challenge and also an exciting one, considering we have quite a few world-class players as well as highly talented youngsters coming through,” says Gregory.

“We have a good player base to work with and one of my aims is to ensure our senior players are motivated enough to stay in the system longer. I would not have accepted the job if I did not believe we can take the team to the next level.”

Employed full-time as director of coaching at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Gregory, 40, also has a distinguished record as a hockey player and selector, and was also a South Africa U19 Cricket World Cup selector at one time.

Gregory, a teacher by profession, is taking a medium- to long-term approach to his new position but will hit the ground running, as the national men’s team accompany the Investec SA women’s side to Argentina next Wednesday for five-Test series against the highly-rated South Americans.

The South African men’s team return in early March and head straight into a three-Test series against reigning Olympic Games champs Germany in Cape Town. The Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia follows shortly after.

Further down the road, Gregory will be taking the SA team to the 2014 Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands, which takes place from May 31 to June 15.

After the four-yearly showpiece, the next major event on the international hockey calendar is the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in July.

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