Hockey: Chris Duncan appointed as head coach of Scotland women

Edinburgh Academy director of hockey Chris Duncan is excited about the quality and potential in the Scotland senior women's hockey side after agreeing a three-year contract as head coach from January 1.

New head coach Chris Duncan believes there is real quality and potential in the Scotland women's squad.
New head coach Chris Duncan believes there is real quality and potential in the Scotland women's squad.

The 30-year-old steps-up from being interim head coach at the recent FIH World Cup Qualifying tournament in Pisa, Italy, where the team went out in the semi-final after losing to Wales in a penalty shoot.However, the performance lifted the Tartan Hearts two places to No 17 in the world, their highest ranking for several years.

Edinburgh-based Duncan, a former international player, will work on a part time basis and remains director of hockey at the Edinburgh Academy.

He is currently head coach the Inverleith men's team who plays in the men's Scottish Premiership.The focus for Scotland’s women next year is the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the European qualifiers in Dunkirk, France.

The new head coach said: “Having worked with the group since 2019, I have a deep understanding of the potential and quality within the squad."The opportunity to be a part of creating history with this group is hugely-exciting, as is the chance to be at the forefront of the push to continue raising the profile of women’s team sport in Scotland.”He added: “I have been fortunate to have such amazing experiences both as a player and coach with Scotland, and I am fully aware of the contribution that our national age-group pathway and domestic league platform have upon the strength of our national teams."Continuing to build and strengthen those partnerships in the days ahead is key.”Duncan was head coach of Scotland's under-16 boys before being appointed, along with Dundee-based Vikki Bunce, as one of two assistant coaches to the Scotland senior women's team in 2019.He took over as interim head coach following Jen Wilson’s decision not to seek an extension to her four-year contact, with Bunce remaining as his assistant.Andy Tennant, Scottish Hockey’s head of performance, said: "Chris fought-off a very strong field of candidates and impressed us with his strong vision of how he will drive the senior women’s programme towards our goal of world’s top ten."He is well known to us as one of a number of bright young coaches in our pathway and we are delighted to see a product of the Scottish system earn the right to coach Scotland.”He added “For me, Chris embodies everything we are trying to do in terms of our Brave Blueprint and will continue to take a bold and confident approach to developing Scottish athletes and coaches to play our way, and continue our drive up the world rankings."Despite his relative inexperience, Chris has strong coaching attributes, an incredible work ethic and is always willing to learn."We will continue to work hard to support Chris and his development as a coach and, hopefully, his appointment shows there is now a clear pathway for emerging young Scottish coaches to climb the ladder."Finally, it is important that we place on record our thanks to our principal funding partner sportscotland and Chris’s employer, the Edinburgh Academy, for their support in making this happen.”

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