After three years as Great Britain’s men’s Assistant Coach, Russell Garcia is moving back to his former club GTHGC in Germany for family reasons.
At the same time, Great Britain’s women’s Assistant Coach Paul Revington will return as planned to his position as Head Coach of our women’s Elite Development Programme.
Russell became Britain’s youngest ever Olympic champion in any sport when he was part of the victorious Great Britain men’s squad in Seoul in 1988 at the age of just 18. A former nominee for FIH World Player of the Year, he then took his skills into coaching. Since he became Assistant Coach England’s men finished third at both the EuroHockey Championships and Commonwealth Games, while Great Britain successfully qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and finished in the top four in the first ever FIH Hockey Pro League.
Having lived in Germany for a number of years previously, 49-year-old Russell has a German wife and his two children were born there, so moving back to Hamburg is the perfect fit for the family.
Russell said, “I would like to say a massive thanks to the organisation for giving me the opportunity to share in so many people’s dreams. Working with the team over the last three years has been an absolute honour. The experiences and relationships I’ve made during this period I will cherish forever. To my ‘Band Of Brothers,’ hold true to your values. And remember you are all Time-Travellers. Make the future worth playing for.”
South African-born Revington joined Great Britain Hockey in 2017 as Head Coach of our women’s Elite Development Programme (EDP), then became Assistant Coach with the women’s senior team in September of last year when the coaching structure was increased leading into Tokyo. It was always planned that he would revert back to the EDP role in September of this year.
Paul is a vastly experienced international Head Coach in his own right, having led the Ireland, Malaysia and South Africa senior teams in the past. Having played a key role in the likes of Tess Howard, Lizzie Neal, Esme Burge, Charlotte Watson and Izzy Petter’s EDP journeys and, with the women’s Junior World Cup coming up in his homeland in 2021, Paul is reverting as planned to his EDP Head Coach role. He will undertake a pivotal position in developing the best young talent in the nation.
Paul said, “I am very excited about returning to the EDP and back to a programme that is responsible for preparing athletes for the senior international environment. I loved the experience of the Olympic qualification process and preparing for Tokyo over the past months and I would like to convey a special thank you to everyone involved in the GB senior squad, players and staff, for a wonderful 10-month period together and to Jody Paul and his EDP staff for steering the programme so well in my absence.”
Great Britain Hockey Performance Director Ed Barney commented, “Firstly I would like to wish Russell and Paul all the best in their new roles.
“It goes without saying that we are incredibly sad to see Russell go. He has brought a wealth of experience, coaching acumen, personality and vibrancy not only to the senior men’s programme, but also to the performance department and to the whole of the organisation. It has been a delight to have Russell in the UK and we recognised from the outset what a significant decision it was for he and his family to relocate to Bisham. However, it’s clear that returning to Germany is the right decision for the Garcia family as they consider ties and schooling. Organisationally, we will miss his wife Mona who has been working for England Hockey’s finance team. We wish Russell, Mona and their children Milia and Phoenix all the very best.
“In the same breath, Paul has a huge amount to offer talented young hockey players in the UK and we recognise his desire to commit and excel in the role that he originally joined GB Hockey for. He has done a fantastic job as Assistant Coach with the women’s senior squad, and as he moves to the EDP we know it will be an exciting time and period for this programme over the coming 12 months and as we look to Paris 2024.”
With regards to recruiting for Russell and Paul’s replacements, Ed continued, “We will commence imminently. Both roles will be full-time and appointed with the aim of ensuring we recruit the best possible candidates to support the senior women’s and men’s programme.”