England and Great Britain are very pleased to announce the appointment of Jody Paul as new assistant coach to the senior women’s squads.
Jody takes on his new role immediately and brings significant experience to the position. As an international hockey player, he made 38 appearances for South Africa as a defender and featured at the 2004 Olympics and 2006 Commonwealth Games as well as winning two All-African Championships.
Highly respected with the game, he began his coaching journey with three years as player/coach at one of the most prominent teams in South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in his home town of Port Elizabeth.
Since 2006 he has been Head of Hockey at the University of Bath. Their hockey programme has been hugely successful in that period, with the senior men’s team winning a number of England Hockey Conference West titles with Jody as Head Coach. The women’s team compete in the Vitality England Hockey Conference West and the university has produced a number of players who have played international hockey, including Olympians Liam Sanford (GB) and Chris Cargo (Ireland).
Alongside his work at Bath, Jody has been involved with England and Great Britain Hockey for the best part of 10 years. Key positions he has held include Head Coach of the GB Women’s Elite Development Programme, Head Coach of the England U18 boys’ squad and Assistant Head Coach of the England U21 men. In addition, he has worked with both the senior men and women, helping England’s men to European bronze in 2017 and assisting the GB women’s team at the 2018 Champions Trophy in China.
Jody said: “I am delighted to be appointed to this role and am very much looking forward to the opportunity to work with a talented group of players. They have enjoyed great success in recent years and I believe they will continue to achieve their goals in the next few years. I am excited to be working as part of the staff team led by David Ralph, and alongside Katie Glynn I think we will complement each other well.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working in the youth programmes over the past ten years. I have been lucky to take on a number of roles across both women’s and men’s programmes and I very much value these opportunities and know they have helped shape me into the coach I am today. Now working with the senior women’s team is hugely exciting and I hope to help us continue on our path of progression.
“My journey as a coach has been hugely enjoyable and I would like to say a couple of important thank yous. The University of Bath – in particular Deputy Director of Sport Greg Sharp – have provided me with an environment to develop as both a coach and a person, and I will forever be grateful for that. Our partner club Team Bath Buccaneers were the driving force in my getting the role, for which I must say thank you. Last but certainly not least I want to thank Bobby Crutchley for his friendship and ongoing support as my mentor.”
Women’s Head Coach David Ralph commented: “This is a really exciting time for all of us in the programme, we recently welcomed some new players to our squad and now we get to welcome Jody, who we believe he will be a huge asset for your team, so we are delighted that he is joining us. He has been a key contributor to our age group programmes for a while now, most recently in his work with the GB EDP programme, so it is great to see him rewarded with this opportunity.
“It was really evident in the recruitment process that Jody will really help complement the coaching team with his energy, personality and coaching skills, and Katie and I are really looking forward to working with him.
Performance Director Ed Barney added: “Jody shone through as an exceptional candidate. We have an exciting few months and years ahead and I know Jody will bring huge strength and depth to many areas of the senior Great Britain and England women. His defensive acumen and great working relationships with the women will complement a coaching team of real balance, depth and different perspectives.
“As Jody steps away from the University of Bath, we’d like to reiterate our huge appreciation for all the support and flexibility the university has offered over the past few years as well as the fantastic environment in which players and coaches have developed.”
Jody’s first matches since taking his new role will be England’s games in Argentina on 19-20 February as their 2021/22 FIH Hockey Pro League campaign gets underway. In April, the team travel to India, USA and Germany. Then in May and June, London plays hosts to a series of exciting home games, including a return to the Twickenham Stoop to play The Netherlands on 4-5 June.