Wednesday, January 07, 2009


This was the headline in The Malay Mail today, Wednesday January 7th 2009.

Australian Hawgood likely to replace Sarjit
By Ghaz Ramli
January 07, 2009
Categories: Hockey

Australian Neil Hawgood is likely to be Malaysian Hockey Federation's (MHF) choice as the new national coach.

So "how good" is he really? Can he chart Malaysian hockey fortunes when the likes of fellow Australian Terry Walsh failed and left in a huff? Can he avoid be Malaysia-nised as how German Paul Lissek ended up to be? Will he survive the politics of the MHF and NSC?

This is some of his background that I managed to source from the internet today and I am sure the newspapers tomorrow will have more details, if not just copy what I wrote here.

Neil Hawgood admits to being in the right place at the right time. When he joined WAIS as head of the Men’s Hockey Program about 18 months ago, his arrival coincided with resurgence in WA hockey. A new wave of talent was coming through and Hawgood’s job was to manage it well. This he has done. WA rules Australian men’s hockey, having completed a clean sweep of national under- 18, under-20 and senior titles in 2002.

But, then, Hawgood has always set high standards. He was a member of the 1986 World Cup Champion team, which remains the greatest achievement in the sport by an Australian team. His considerable international experience enables him to understand first hand what it takes to reach the very top – and, after all, producing internationals is what his job is all about.

WAIS works closely with the national and State body to ensure the 20 players in the WAIS squad have the best chance to make the grade. At the moment the national senior squad includes five WAIS scholarship holders in Captain Paul Gaudoin, Bevan George, Aaron Hopkins, Scott Webster and Goal Keeper Leon Martin.

With the Commonwealth Games and World Cup over, Hawgood is switching the focus of the program to the 2005 Junior World Cup.

“In two years we need to have the next group of emerging players ready,” he said. “The competition is for under-21s, so we’re targeting the 16 to 18 year olds. We’ve picked a group who will play the Hockeyroos in the build-up to their World Cup held in Perth this spring. That’s good for me because I can see how players react in match situations."

Neil Hawgood has two World Cups and an Olympic Games under his belt. His sport is hockey. His nationality is Australian, and Australia's men and women are once again at the top of the world tree as a result of the Champions' Trophy competitions in Sydney over the past two weeks. An Olympian at Seoul, when Australia finished fourth and Great Britain won hockey gold, his pedigree is built round eight years with men's and women's league sides down under, a tough school with high standards.