South African Gregg Clark named Indian hockey’s analytical coach

The two-time Olympian replaces Australian Chris Ciriello, who stepped down from the same role last year.

By Naveen Peter ·

Former Olympian Gregg Clark will take over as the analytical coach of the men’s Indian hockey team until the Tokyo Olympics, it was announced on Tuesday.

Clark replaces former Australian drag-flick expert Chris Ciriello, who had to step down from the position due to a medical condition.

The 49-year-old Clark joins the Indian set-up after a fruitful stint with the Canadian national hockey team from 2017 to 2020.

Having started his coaching career over a decade ago, Gregg Clark’s first major assignment came in 2007 when he guided South Africa to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2010 FIH World Cup and the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Gregg Clark also coached the Indian junior hockey team from 2013 to 2014, a phase that saw them compete at the 2013 FIH Junior World Cup. He also took charge of Ranchi Rhinos in the inaugural edition of the Hockey India League, a franchise-based hockey league in India.

Gregg Clark was the assistant coach of the Canadian hockey team before heading to India. Photo: Hockey India

“Having worked with Hockey India earlier, I understand the setup and their professionalism,” Gregg Clark, who represented South Africa at Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004, said in a media statement.

“Most of the players I coached in the junior team back in 2013 are now in the senior group and have come of age as players. It has been very exciting to watch this team grow over the past couple of years. They have a lot of potential to do very well in 2021 and for a number of years in the future.”

Meanwhile, the Indian chief coach Graham Reid was looking forward to working with the South African, who played hockey for 11 years.

“He brings with him a swath of experience including 250 caps for South Africa, the Olympics, World Cups and countless FIH tournaments,” Reid said.

“Having been head coach of South Africa for six years and more recently an assistant coach with Canada, his contemporary knowledge is first class.

“Moreover, he has also worked with a number of our athletes before, meaning he can hit the ground running,” Reid said.