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Top Hockey player appointed coach

A New Zealand Development Squad Hockey player has come on board as a fulltime coach to develop our booming Hockey programme.

Representative player Joe Hanks, who recently captained Central region Hockey to a top-three finish in the National Hockey League, has been named Midlands, Counties and our school’s Development Coach.

Starting immediately, he will be based at our school, training the school’s First XI boys’ Hockey team and providing coaching support for other teams.

The appointment is part of Midlands Hockey’s strategy to grow Hockey excellence in the region. As part of the role Joe will also coach and provide support to Counties and Midlands hockey teams.

Simon Brill, Performance Manager at Midlands Hockey Inc., said when working with Counties Manukau Hockey on the development of the role for the area, Midlands Hockey, Counties Manukau Hockey and ACG Strathallan were natural choices to partner in the three way-appointment.

“We identified that Hockey is a real strength at ACG Strathallan, with world-class facilities and growing participation. The school’s a great partner for us to support the pathway of kids participating in Hockey from a young age all the way through to national programmes.”

Principal Robin Kirkham said the appointment was an exciting development that all partners had been working on for some time. “As far as I know this is the first joint venture of its kind in New Zealand and I am confident that it will play a major part in ACG Strathallan becoming the premiere Hockey school in our region.”

Joe has represented Hawkes Bay at U18 level through to Senior Men’s level, represented the Central Hockey Region at U21 level and played in the National Hockey League for Central for the last five years, recently captaining the side to a top three finish.

In 2015 he was selected for the New Zealand Development Squad, training alongside the New Zealand Black Sticks. For the last four years, Joe has been part of the Central Hockey Regions U21 and U18 representative sides coaching staff.

“In my recent hockey coaching experience, we have had successes with teams at different levels all reaching podium positions and I am looking forward to continuing my experience within Midlands, Counties and ACG Strathallan as a Coach. I hope to quickly establish myself within the hockey community and contribute and learn as much as I can.”