Ben Read and Andrew McDonald Announced as U21 Coaches

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Ben Read has been appointed as the Tasmanian Under 21 Men head coach for the 2019 Australian Championships, stepping up after serving as Assistant Coach during their 2018 Gold Medal triumph, while Andrew McDonald has been reappointed as Tasmanian U21 Women head coach.

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“I’m extremely privileged to have been given the opportunity to work with this group of particularly talented athletes. Following on from the success of the 2018 campaign, this team is only the second male Tasmanian team in history to have the opportunity to defend their national title,” said Read.

Read, who has worked with the same group in a number of tournaments for four years, is excited by the increasing pool of young talent in the state and what he has to work with.

“Their game understanding, and basic skill level, has gone from strength to strength each year, and they have a thirst for hard work on the training track,” he said.

He is hoping they can start in a stronger fashion than they did during their Gold Medal run, which famously featured a late charge of finals wins against more fancied opponents before their gold medal match victory.

Andrew McDonald will again take the reins as head coach of the Tasmanian U21 Women. He said it’s exciting to see how much talent is now progressing through the junior Tasmanian ranks and he’s keen to help with their knowledge and skill development at Under 21 level.

“We have a younger group than in 2018, so with that comes freshness. It’s exciting. It’s clear that our female landscape is on the up,” he said.

With the new-look national league, Hockey One, coming in October McDonald sees the under 21 level as an important final stepping stone to senior representation.

“Creating an environment to mimic elite sport with a good culture, smart training and a strong team work ethic builds individual and team preparation for Hockey One and other opportunities for the future,” he said.

The 2019 U21 Men’s and Women’s Australian Championships will be held in Lismore at the Hepburn Park Hockey Fields from 10 July to 17 July.

Under 21 Team Officials:

Men
Ben Read – Coach
Joe Scott – Team Manager
Nick Murton – Physiotherapist
Ben Scarlett – TIS Sports Scientist

Women
Andrew McDonald – Coach
Jenny Geeves – Team Manager
Ian McHugh – Physiotherapist
Ben Scarlett – TIS Sports Scientist

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