England and Great Britain head coach Danny Kerry is excited by the future for his teams after taking England to fourth place at the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup.
Kerry’s first game in charge of the men was only in October, so his charges performed particularly admirably in reaching the bronze medal match in Bhubaneswar.
With a number of youngsters in the squad, a super win over Olympic champions Argentina in the quarter finals and a progression in performance, there are many reasons to be upbeat as we move into 2019.
Looking back on the event as a whole, Kerry said, “When we stuck to our game we competed.
“Unfortunately against the leading teams we could not do that consistently enough.
“We were well punished by Australia [in the bronze medal match] for forcing play and turning the ball over. That’s a hard lesson to learn but we will.
“My job is to keep perspective, remind ourselves of what we have done well and be compassionately ruthless in developing our play toward qualifying for the Tokyo Games.
“We have blooded young players in the toughest of environments and tried to stretch the game of more established players.
“On a personal level therefore I am already excited about where we go next and how.”
Kerry’s next game at the helm will be when Great Britain play their very first match in the FIH Pro League, away to Spain on Friday 25 January. In February they are away to both New Zealand and Australia, kicking off the new competition in fine style. Their first home game in London is against Spain on Saturday 4 May, culminating in a double header at the Twickenham Stoop at the end of June.
Olympic qualification will be decided in 2019, with the top four teams in the FIHPL going straight through to the two-legged qualifiers in the Autumn.