India target hockey coach Graham Reid relieved by Amsterdam

Mihir Vasavda
Graham Reid has been relieved by Amsterdam. (Source: https://www.ahbc.nl)

Amidst interest from India, Graham Reid was relieved as the chief coach of Amsterdam Hockey Club with immediate effect on Thursday. The Australian, who is also the assistant coach of the Netherlands national team, is likely to resign from that position as well.

The announcement comes at a time when Hockey India is in the final stages of appointing the new coach for the men's national team. The Indian Express understands that during the National Championship in Gwalior last month, high-performance director David John had informed a few senior players that Reid, 54, was the frontrunner to succeed Harendra Singh, who was sacked as the chief coach in January.

Reid's compatriot Warren Birmingham, too, has been linked to the job. Birmingham is one of Australia's greats, having represented the Kookaburras for more than a decade. He was a member of the team that won the 1992 Barcelona Olympics silver medal. Another Australian, Brent Livermore, too has applied for the role although his chances are considered to be slim.

Hockey India sources said Reid is seen as the best choice from the options left. The former Australia head coach took up the dual responsibility in Netherlands after the Rio Olympics. However, his position at the Amsterdam Hockey Club came under scrutiny after the team lost to HGC 8-2 in a league match last weekend.

Amsterdam said the disappointing result coupled with interest from 'outside Amsterdam' were the reasons they parted ways with Reid. "The current disappointing results emphasize the need for change. In addition, Reid has indicated that he may have a new challenge in the short term outside of Amsterdam," the club said in a statement on its website.

Reid could not be reached for comments while Hockey India chose not to comment.

The Indian team is currently in Malaysia to compete in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, which begins on Saturday. In absence of a chief coach, the team will be co-coached by John and analytical coach Chris Ciriello.