🇦🇺 Hockey Australia : Katrina Powell named Head Coach of the Australia Women’s hockey team
Photo Credit : Hockey Australia

Katrina Powell will be the Head Coach of the Hockeyroos until at least the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Powell, who is the first female Hockeyroos Head Coach since Colleen Quinn in 1978, was appointed on an interim basis in late March 2021 to guide the Hockeyroos through their Tokyo Olympic campaign.

The team won all five of its Group Stage matches before being stunned by India in the Quarter Finals.

Now following a thorough recruitment process for the full time Hockeyroos Head Coach position, the dual Olympic gold medallist has the responsibility of overseeing the Hockeyroos program through to the Paris Games.

The highly reputable independent selection panel comprised Olympic gold medal winning coach Barry Dancer, 1988 Olympic gold medallist Hockeyroo Sally Carbon, newly appointed High Performance Director Bernard Savage, while it also included Hockey Australia Director Ross Sudano as well as involvement from Australian Institute of Sport High Performance Coach Development Senior Lead Michelle De Highden.

“On behalf of the Board, I congratulate Katrina on her deserved appointment,” said Hockey Australia President Mel Woosnam.

“The five-week selection process included two rounds of interviews, reference checks, psychometric testing and a scenario presentation. This was about identifying the right coach at the right time with the right skillset to take this squad on a journey of success to Paris and beyond.

Ross Sudano, who chaired the selection panel said, “Hockey Australia was impressed with the strength of the Australian and internationally-based candidates who contested for the respected Hockeyroos head coach role. They performed extremely well through the robust process, and we’d like to thank them all for their competitive efforts.”

“Katrina was appointed on the back of her ability and an assessment of her skillset. She is strongly passionate and connected to achieve success with the Hockeyroos.

“She has demonstrated an ability to build trust within a high performance environment and has the personal merits and accolades to develop that respect.”

“Katrina projected a compelling vision for the Hockeyroos and Australian women’s hockey.”

Powell has held various coaching roles since 2005 following a decorated playing career which included 252 games and 141 goals for the Hockeyroos.

Having guided the Hockeyroos in Tokyo, Powell says it whet her appetite to continue what she has started.

“I’m really excited. Normally the Olympics is the end of a cycle but Tokyo felt like the start of something,” said Powell.

“With the time leading up to Paris being a shortened period, it feels like we have already started the work that needs to be done to be successful.”

“The project of preparing for and competing in Tokyo was a huge challenge. Being a former elite hockey player, I know that is what high performance athletes are looking for, that next challenge.

“The Tokyo Olympics proved to myself what I can get done in a short space of time, but it was made easier by the commitment and enthusiasm of the athletes.”

Powell says the thorough nature of the interview selection process sharpened her coaching acumen and reinforced her desire to fulfil the position.

“Going through a process like this makes you formulate and provides the opportunity to present your vision,” said Powell.

“Putting that vision together, making it succinct and selling it was a really good process to go through because I’ve got really clear plans on where I want to see this team go.

“Some of the group matches in Tokyo showed what is possible. There are a lot of talented players not only in the current Hockeyroos squad but who are knocking on the door.

“It is about providing players with opportunities through a structured framework of how we want to play but also a licence to take the game on.

“That’s the traditional Australian way of playing – one that is attacking, wanting to take it to the opposition and defend stoutly. Now we need to maximise the opportunities we have created for ourselves.”

Powell returned to Sydney after the Tokyo Olympics but will relocate to Perth as soon as possible to continue the Hockeyroos’ aim of becoming the world’s best women’s hockey team and winning gold medals.

Major tournaments between now and the Paris 2024 Olympics include next year’s FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup, the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, FIH Pro League competitions and the Oceania Cup, which doubles as an Olympic qualifier.

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