Craig Fulton of South Africa is the new coach of the Indian men’s hockey team
New Delhi. South African Craig Fulton, who was the assistant coach of Tokyo Olympic champions Belgium, will be the new coach of the Indian men’s hockey team. The then coach Graham Reid resigned after the Indian team failed to even reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela in January. It was under Reid’s coach that India won a bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics after 41 years. Hockey India made the announcement on Friday ahead of the home matches of the FIH Hockey Pro League from March 10. Fulton, 48, from South Africa, has nearly 25 years of coaching experience and will join the team as soon as the formalities are completed.
Fulton, 48, has been the assistant coach of the Belgian team that won the title in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. He was also part of the support staff of the Belgium team that won the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar. He was the head coach of the Irish men’s team between 2014 and 2018 when the team qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics. He was also voted FIH Coach of the Year in 2015 as the first Irish team in 100 years to qualify for the Olympics. Fulton was voted the best coach of Belgium in 2023 as the Belgian club won the Belgian league title under him. As a player, he played 195 international matches for South Africa in a decade’s journey. He represented South Africa at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and 2004 Athens Olympics, as well as the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games.
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Welcoming Fulton’s appointment, Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey said in a statement issued here, “It gives me immense pleasure to inform that Hockey India has appointed Craig Fulton as the Head Coach for the Indian Men’s Team. I have played against him and will now work with him in the new era of the Indian team. He has immense experience and his style of working instills confidence in the teams. I welcome him to India.” While Fulton said, “It is an honor to be the head coach of the Indian hockey team. India has a golden history in hockey and I want to take the current team which has many talented players to new heights.