Hockey Australia today confirmed the new head coaches for the Australian national hockey teams
the Kookaburras and the Hockeyroos, as Colin Batch and Paul Gaudoin respectively.
Gaudoin, who has served as the interim head coach of the Kookaburras since October, will move across to become the national coach of the women’s high performance program as of January 2017, replacing Adam Commens who left Hockey Australia following the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Batch joins Hockey Australia from his position as the head coach of the New Zealand Black Sticks men, a role he has held since 2012. He will also make the move in January 2017 when he will become the head coach of the men’s high performance program. Batch takes the place of Graham Reid who left the post of Kookaburras head coach at the beginning of October following two years in the position and eight years at Hockey Australia.
Aside from leading the daily training environment in Perth, both national coaches will be taking a renewed approach to ensuring the broader national network of coaches and athletes are engaged with the Australian teams through the national hockey network.
Batch and Gaudoin were chosen by a selection panel following a thorough recruitment process which saw many high quality national and international candidates apply for the much-coveted positions. The two selection panels included a combination of Hockey Australia Chief Executive Cam Vale, former President David Hatt, interim President Mel Woosnam, AIS Director Matt Favier, former Kookaburras and Hockeyroos head coach Ric Charlesworth, and Hockey Australia High Performance Director Toni Cumpston.
Hockey Australia Chief Executive Cam Vale said: “Paul and Colin both excelled throughout the recruitment process in what was a very competitive process with applicants from around the world. The board at Hockey Australia truly believes that they are the candidates who will take our national teams to the next level as we look to the new four-year cycle.
“Both candidates have a wealth of experience; Paul, most recently within the Kookaburras family, and Colin further afield having been the head coach of the Belgium Red Lions and the New Zealand Black Sticks men, as well as serving as an assistant coach to the Kookaburras for eight years. Both have shown themselves to be the best people for the jobs.
“I would like to thank Jason Duff for his commitment to the Hockeyroos during his time as interim head coach of the team since Rio, and before that as the senior assistant coach with the program. Jason has done a tremendous job in leading the Hockeyroos over the last few months through the trans-Tasman Trophy and International Festival of Hockey.
“Paul Gaudoin has also been a huge asset to the Kookaburras stepping in to become interim head coach and leading the team to victory at the trans-Tasman and International Festival of Hockey. It’s a credit to both Jason and Paul that they have acted so professionally in those roles during a difficult period of change.”
Gaudoin and Batch will both take up their roles in Hockey Australia’s high performance program as of the new year, with the teams to recommence training as of March.
In a world first for hockey, Gaudoin and Batch will take part in a live fans Q&A tomorrow (Wednesday 7 December) from 5.30pm AEDT, giving fans and the media a first opportunity to put their questions to the new coaches.
Facebook Live Q&A Schedule:
5:30pm AEDT: Q&A with Colin Batch via Facebook.com/TheKookaburras
6:00pm AEDT: Q&A with Paul Gaudoin via Facebook.com/TheHockeyroos
About Paul Gaudoin, Head Coach, Hockeyroos
Age: 41 Hometown: Perth, WA
Former Kookaburra Paul Gaudoin played 234 games for Australia across his eleven-year career from 1994 until 2004, during which time he was the captain of the Kookaburras from 2001 until his retirement. Gaudoin was a key member of the 1996 and 2000 Olympic team where the Kookaburras won bronze medals. During his time as a player Gaudoin won Commonwealth gold in 1998 and competed at three World Cups, winning a bronze (1994) and a silver medal (2002). He also represented Australia at seven Champions Trophy tournaments.
Gaudoin began his coaching career in 2008, becoming a coach to the Kookaburras in 2010 where he worked his way up from an assistant coach to senior assistant coach, including periods where he acted as interim head coach for the team. During his time as interim head coach, Gaudoin co-coached the Kookaburras to victory at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and led them to victory at the 2015 Oceania Cup.
About Colin Batch, Head Coach, Kookaburras
Age: 58 Hometown: Melbourne, VIC
Colin Batch comes to the Kookaburras with a wealth of international coaching experience having formerly been the head coach of the Belgium Red Lions (2010-2012) and the New Zealand Black Sticks men (2012-2016); along with being a former assistant coach of the Kookaburras from 2001 -2008 during which time the team won gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics and bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Batch was himself a Kookaburra from 1979 until 1990, during which time he was the vice-captain in 1987 and 1988. Batch played 175 games for the team and was a member of the gold medal winning team at the 1986 World Cup and twice a bronze medallist at the World Cups of 1982 and 1990. As well as taking part in the 4th place finishing teams at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games, he competed at ten Champions Trophy tournaments.
2017 FIH Major Events Schedule
World League Semi-Finals: Johannesburg, South Africa (9 – 23 July)
World League Final: India (2 – 10 December)
World League Semi-Finals: Brussels, Belgium (21 June – 2 July)
World League Final: Auckland, New Zealand (18 – 26 November)
Author: Holly MacNeil