As a player for the Australia national team, Colin Batch was an uncompromising striker who, until 2009, held the record for the fastest hat trick in Champions Trophy history (8 minutes for three goals). As Head Coach to the Kookaburras, he takes the same tough stance with his players and in his approach to every game. “We have our own very high expectations,” he said in an interview ahead of a FIH Hockey Pro League clash with Belgium. “Every time we go out, we set out to achieve as highly as we can.”
Batch was appointed Head Coach to the Australia national men’s team in December 2016, following a three-year spell coaching the New Zealand men’s team. Early in his coaching career he had been assistant coach to the Kookaburras during a remarkable successful period in their history that had seen them win Olympic gold in 2004 and silver at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.
During his four-year tenure, the team has definitely continued to find ways to win. The Kookaburras won gold at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the 2018 Champions Trophy, the 2019 Oceania Cup – where they qualified for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – and the first edition of the FIH Hockey Pro League. They also beat England 8-1 on route to bronze in the 2018 Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup. The team has also been in a back and forth battle with Belgium over the number one position in the FIH World Rankings.
Over the past four years, Batch has built on the legacy of a winning mentality within his squad which means that every game is viewed as a cup final. During that time, the squad has seen the departure of some key players but, with his unerring eye for spotting talent as it comes through, Batch has built a team that he feels has a great opportunity to repeat last season’s FIH Hockey Pro League success and to make a big impact in Tokyo later in the year.
How did Colin Batch learn that he had won the award? Watch the video !
And: of Colin Batch after receiving the award.