By GAVIN CANEY
Thursday, December 13, 2012
King’s Lynn’s Danny Kerry is excited by the challenge of moving ‘upstairs’ after being appointed as England Hockey’s performance director.
The former King Edward VII High School (KES) pupil has been head coach of the England and Great Britain women’s hockey teams since 2004. And after leading Team GB to bronze at London 2012, and overseeing both teams’ most successful period in their history, the ex-Pelicans player has decided it’s time to take on a new role.
The 42-year-old said: “My new role in performance sport represents significant but exciting challenges for me.
“Hockey has undergone a lengthy period of change since I began as head coach. The single-system player pathway has been implemented and our governance has evolved and is now seen as a model for others.
“The national teams have trained at a level of professionalism never before seen in our history and as a result we have won medals at world and Olympic level.
“We have seen significant progression in our standing internationally, not just in terms of the performances of our national teams but also in our ability to host world-level events.
“How we move on – the high expectations we set of ourselves to continue to grow – is something I look forward to now focusing my energies on with our first class and highly experienced performance team.”
The hockey chief helped GB collect their first Olympic medal since Pelicans player Kath Johnson, from Grimston, near Lynn, also bagged a bronze at Barcelona in 1992 as well as a host of other medals at World Cup, Commonwealth, European and Champions Trophy competitions.
As performance director he will be responsible for overseeing all of the programmes of the England and GB senior and junior national sides as well as the player pathway in the country.
His brother Sean, who still plays for the Pelicans and is the club’s vice-chairman, said: “We’re incredibly proud. Danny puts his life and soul into his hockey and it’s always been his passion.
“This is the next level and he appreciates it’s a step up. He loves his coaching, he’s fairly intense and focused about it, so it was a tough decision. But he thinks it’s the right one and I believe it will help broaden his horizons as he can have input across the men’s game in the country too.”
Kerry will begin his new job on January 2 and succeeds David Faulkner who is stepping down after almost eight years in the post.
Sally Munday, England Hockey’s chief executive, said: “Danny has shown strong leadership in his position as head coach and has demonstrated he has the skills, knowledge and relentless drive for success that is required for the role of performance director.
“He shares our ambition to support our athletes in achieving consistent medal-winning performances.”
The appointment process to find Kerry’s replacement will commence in the new year.