The Hockeyroos bid to re-establish themselves as a powerhouse hockey team has been given a significant boost today, with Hockey Australia announcing that Adam Commens has been appointed as coach of the Australian women’s national team.
Commens, a former member of the Australian men’s team for whom he played 143 international matches from 1997-2004, replaces former Hockeyroos coach Frank Murray who announced he would be retiring at the conclusion of the recent 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Prior to accepting the role with the Hockeyroos, currently ranked 6th in the world, Commens has coached Belgium’s national men’s team since 2007 and led them to their first Olympics appearance in 32 years when the team competed in Beijing in 2008.
Commens’ former coaching experience also includes a two year stint as a consultant for Belgium’s women’s program and coaching various European women’s teams at club level.
Commens said that the Hockeyroos will be encouraged to aim high heading into the 2012 London Olympics.
“I am delighted to be appointed as coach of a team that has so much tradition like the Hockeyroos. We have a challenge to reclaim the position we once had as the best in the world. Our aims for the London Olympics will be the same as any other Hockeyroos team of the past heading into an Olympic Games, and that is to win a gold medal. To win any medal at the Olympics is an achievement for any team but if you are going to aim to win a medal, then obviously gold is the one to go for. We need to be conscious of that and go for it,” said Commens.
However he acknowledged that there was lots of hard work ahead in order for the Hockeyroos to achieve their goals.
“I think our 6th place ranking is a fair indication of where we are at and our aims need to be realistic and we are going to have to work very hard and it is going to be very hard. But I think there is a tradition in all Australian sports to set the bar high, and I think that is a good starting point for us,” said Commens.
Commens said that he will encourage an attacking style of play in order to score more goals, an area in which the Hockeyroos have struggled in recent time.
“I think there are various technical and tactical things which we need to improve on. Over the past few years Australia has been a team that has struggled to score goals. Traditionally both in the women’s and men’s teams we have been very attacking but for whatever reason we have struggled in that area. So an attacking style and some killer instinct around goals will certainly be encouraged,” said Commens.
Hockey Australia Chief Executive Mark Anderson said the quality of the applicants was extremely high.
“We interviewed some fantastic candidates for the role and Adam’s presentation was extremely impressive. He presented a clear vision for the team and was able to clearly demonstrate his ability to improve a young and developing team. His plans for the future direction of the Hockeyroos are very exciting. We have such a proud history of success with the Hockeyroos and we are extremely confident that he is the right person to lead the team back up to the top of the world rankings,” said Anderson.
Anderson said he believes that the high number of quality candidates and the passion demonstrated by those applying for the role reinforces how highly the Australian women’s hockey program is regarded worldwide.
“There is no doubt that this role was an extremely sought after position. The number and quality of applicants is evidence of that. The passion displayed by the candidates and their desire to coach an Australian national team clearly demonstrates that our programs are respected around the world. In the case of many candidates their entire careers have been planned to give themselves an opportunity like this. Adam was no exception and his career has been led by his desire to come back to Australia as head coach. We are delighted that he has accepted the role and we look forward to supporting him to attain future success.” said Anderson.
Commens will begin his role with the Hockeyroos in early 2011.
Source: Hockey Australia
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