Field Hockey Canada is thrilled to announce Olympic gold medallist Danny Kerry as the new Head Coach of the Women’s National Team.
The former England and Great Britain (GB) head coach led the GB women’s team to a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, a 2015 EuroHockey championship (with England) and an Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio Games.
Kerry grew up in Norfolk, UK and studied at Loughborough University then studied Sport, Culture and Society at the University of Warwick. He received his first coaching certificate in 1994 and began combining his work as a University lecturer, coaching in the national club competition and work with the national junior teams in 1997.
Kerry became the head coach of the GB Women’s Team in 2005 and led the program to incredible success during his tenure, culminating in the Olympic gold in 2016. In 2018, he was appointed the head coach of the GB Men’s side and led the team to their first FIH Hockey Pro League Grand Final in 2019. By the time he stepped away from the GB program, Kerry was the most successful coach in the history of hockey in the UK. Having gone on to work with and England Rugby and as a consultant to a number of sports, Kerry is now back where he feels most comfortable, on the field coaching and leading towards lofty ambitions.
The Canadian Women’s National Team is fresh off a summer that featured them playing at their first FIH Hockey World Cup in 30 years, following up by tying their all-time best performance at the Commonwealth Games finishing fifth. The Wolf Pack is currently ranked 15th in the world and looking to gain momentum towards the 2023 Pan American Games and 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Kerry, who received the FIH Coach of the Year award in 2010 and 2016 and the Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 2017, is thrilled to be taking the position, saying that he’s looking forward to starting with the skilled and eager group. On a recent trip to Canada, he said he was motivated by the attitude and enthusiasm of the hockey community as a whole.
“I met several the Women’s National Team athletes, NextGen players and members of the wider Canadian field hockey community. What struck me was the ‘can do’ attitude, the warmth of welcome and a strong sense of growing the sport in Canada,” Kerry said. “I hope to support building a strong common purpose and excitement in what we are going after, why, and how.”
For Kerry, the immediate goals are clear, but he also intends to contribute to the success and growth of field hockey in Canada.
“The short-term campaign is the preparation to the Pan American Games. Arriving there with a strong identity of how we play, and purpose about our play. In developing and bringing these qualities, we will be giving ourselves the best chance of progressing in that tournament. We will also be setting ourselves up for future and continued growth,” Kerry said.
Field Hockey Canada CEO Susan Ahrens is delighted to continue to bring top-level international coaches to support the senior men’s and women’s national teams. She said that Kerry is the perfect person to lead the Women’s National Team as they gear up for an exciting stretch of competition and qualification.
“We are delighted to welcome Danny to Canada. His resume, from Olympic bronze and gold, European championship to the MBE, needs no introduction in the national and global hockey community,” Ahrens said. “He is quite simply an outstanding coach and leader.”
Ahrens said that quality international-level coaching is an organization priority, and that Field Hockey Canada is fortunate to be welcoming Kerry to the hockey community.
“World class coaching and technical leadership is essential to fulfill our ambitions. In Danny, we have secured one of the all-time best. Delighted as I am for our women’s program and athletes, I am also pleased for our community as a whole, as Danny’s reach and impact will undoubtedly extend out in positive and lasting ways to the benefit of all.”
Emma Bray, Field Hockey Canada’s High-Performance Director, says the process took time. But the intentionality and patience dedicated to appointing the right person has paid off.
“We have taken real intention to appoint a leader for our Women’s National Team that will help us create an environment for performance together,” Bray said. “Danny brings an array of fundamental elements to our high-performance team, but his passion for coaching and his humility to never stop learning are two items that are greatly revered. We know Danny is going to have a massive impact within our Canadian field hockey community and we cannot wait to get started.”
The Women’s National Team will kick-start their 2023 campaign with a centralized training camp in Vancouver at the beginning of April. They will add competition elements in the summer to prepare the team for the 2023 Pan American Games, in Santiago.
Danny Kerry visits Canada and meets with members of the WNT, Staff and coaches. Photos/Field Hockey Canada.
From grass roots to high performance, Field Hockey Canada is working to develop and strengthen field hockey across the country, and to position our National Teams for consistent podium contention at international competitions, including the Pan American Games, Olympic Games and the Hockey World Cup.
Approximately 18,000 field hockey players across the country – 9,000 of which are a part of high school field hockey programs – dedicate themselves to the sport at all levels from community hockey to high performance. Their dedication and pursuit of excellence, along with the tireless work from coaches, officials, and all volunteers, makes for a Canadian field hockey community as strong as it has ever been.