London 2012 Olympics preview: Norfolk coaches doing their bit

It is not only on the sporting field of play our stars will be playing a key role in Team GB's success at this summer's Games – there will be a trio of men hoping to pull enough strings from the sidelines to see the hosts to glory. Here is who to look out for and why…

• Danny Kerry (Team GB women's hockey head coach – King's Lynn)

The former KES pupil used to play for Lynn club Pelicans and has been GB head coach since the start of 2005. And while bronze at the 1992 Games in Barcelona represents Britain's last Olympic hockey medal for either men or women, this year the women represent a genuine medal hope.

Taking silver at this year's Champions Trophy after losing to Beijing bronze medallists Argentina backed those thoughts, while the difficulties of naming his squad saw Kerry choke back the tears.

But, unlike some of us, at least this summer's British weather is not dampening Kerry's outlook – quite the opposite.


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'The weather and rain will allow us to play in a very fast, high pressured and intense manner,' said Kerry. 'We have the physical capability to do that and it is whether the opposition can live with that.

'When you're playing in Delhi and it's 44C it is pretty difficult to play like that, so yes, a typical British summer will be good for us.'

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• Tim Newenham (Team GB shooting performance director – Norwich)

One medal is the hope from GB's shooting squad – and if anyone can help them on their way to that goal, it's Newenham. The elite sports coach has had a hand in most of the sporting success stories to have emerged from this region, including Hevingham's British Cycling starlet Vicky Williamson and young javelin hopeful Oliver Bradfield.

Earning his stripes in throw coaching, Newenham has coached the very best Britain has offered in javelin in recent years, as well as helping Tim Henman with his strength and conditioning work.

China will be the nation to beat, having won 12 golds at the last three Games, while a gold and silver in Sydney represent GB's only shooting successes in the last five Olympics. But given Newenham's past record, anything will be possible at the Royal Artillery Barracks.

• Neil Emblen (New Zealand men's football head coach – former Norwich City midfielder)

During his playing days a �500,000 move to Carrow Road was injury-ravaged, as he made just 14 appearances between 2001-03.

Not before long, Bromley-born Emblen was finishing his playing career in New Zealand – and after taking on his first management role with Waitakere United he was soon taken on as New Zealand's Under-21 manager. So the logical progression from there was to take the Oly Whites and their Under-23 squad to London for this summer's Olympics.

Expectations are modest – not particularly helped by the side's 4-2 warm-up defeat to UAE in Austria on Friday.

Former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Walsall midfielder Emblen will get a Midlands return when New Zealand kick off their campaign in Coventry against Belarus the day before London 2012's opening ceremony.

New Zealand's Group C games also include Egypt at Old Trafford on Sunday, before taking on gold medal favourites Brazil in Newcastle the following Wednesday.

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