New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) Former chief coach Neil Hawgood will rejoin the coaching staff of the Indian women’s hockey team as they prepare for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Australian had done well during his earlier stint with the team, guiding them to victory at the Hockey World League Round Two and a silver medal at the Asian Champions Trophy in 2013. They bagged a bronze at the Asian Games the next year and finished fifth at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Hawgood was also successful as a player. Representing Australia from 1985 to 1991, he won the World Cup in 1986 and finished with the bronze medal at the 1990 edition. He embarked on his coaching career in 1993. Before taking charge of the Indian senior and junior women’s teams from 2012-2014, he was the assistant coach of the Australian women’s team and the head coach of Malaysia. Neil has also worked with the West Australian Institute of Sport in both men’s and women’s programmes.
“Working with the Indian women’s hockey team has been a great experience. I am extremely proud of their performance and am glad that they secured a spot for themselves for the Rio Olympics 2016. It’s their hard work that has brought them here, and I hope to add value to them and take them to the next level which they and this nation aspires to see them in,” the 53-year-old was quoted as saying in a statement from Hockey India. The Indian women’s team, who currently occupy the 13th spot in world rankings, have qualified for the Olympics after a gap of 36 years.