Bobby Crutchley named England men's coach

Bobby Crutchley

England Hockey is delighted to announce that, following a comprehensive external recruitment process, Bobby Crutchley has been appointed to the role of head coach of the England men’s team. Crutchley, 42, has been an assistant coach to the senior men’s programme since 2005 and was part of the Great Britain coaching staff at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. He succeeds Jason Lee who was recently appointed as head coach of the senior women’s squad.

As Head Coach of the men’s programme, Crutchley will be responsible for the selection, preparation, coaching and performance of the England and GB teams and senior national squad, and the teams’ results in international competitions. The position will see the former Bath Buccaneers and University of Bath coach lead the programme for the 2013-2016 Olympic cycle taking in the 2013 and 2015 European Championships, the World Cup and Commonwealth Games in 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. His first major tournament in charge will be the FIH Hockey World League semi final in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, from 29 June – 7 July.

Danny Kerry, England Hockey Performance Director, said: “I am really excited about Bobby’s appointment. Fundamentally he believes in the athletes and the programme we have and that is the key building block for success. Bobby demonstrated not just an in-depth understanding of the challenges that come with this leadership position but also a genuine insight into what needs to and can happen. The insight that our coaches have to coaching and leading at this highest of levels, I believe, are a competitive edge that will stand us in good stead over the coming years. I look forward to working with Bobby and feel the programme and team is in the most capable and ambitious of hands.”

Speaking after being appointed, Crutchley said: “As someone who has a strong passion for coaching and for hockey in Great Britain, I am absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity.

“With personnel changes, following the London Olympics, there will be significant challenges, particularly in the short term. However, I am confident that the team can evolve to continue to challenge for medals at the highest level.”

Sally Munday, England Hockey Chief Executive, said: “I am absolutely delighted to see Bobby progress into the Head Coach role. He has been an excellent assistant coach and through the recruitment process has demonstrated that he has the knowledge and skills to step up to leading the men’s programme.  Bobby’s ambition reflects our values and his passion for English and British success shines through.”

During his time as assistant to Jason Lee, Crutchley helped coach England through their rise up the world rankings from 11th to their current standing of fourth. He was in the dugout when England won the European Championship title for the first time in 2009 and the silver medal at the Champions Trophy the following year, England’s best ever result on the world stage. England finished just outside the medals at the 2010 World Cup, coming fourth, before another European medal followed – bronze - in 2011. He coached the Great Britain men’s team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in which GB finished fifth and at London 2012 where the host nation narrowly missed out on a medal to Australia.

Crutchley has been involved in coaching the national teams since 1997, first as a consultant, then as Assistant Coach to the senior women’s squad from 2003 until 2004 before joining Jason Lee’s men’s coaching team in 2005. In 2002 and 2007 he served as Head Coach to the U21 England men, taking on the same role with the Great Britain U21 men at the 2007 and 2009 Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

Off the pitch, he successfully completed UK Sport’s Elite Coach Programme in 2010 and more recently, following the London 2012 Olympic Games, completed his Masters degree in Sports Coaching at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN).

As a player, Crutchley represented his country 80 times and was a member of the first England men’s team to compete in hockey at the Commonwealth Games, where he picked up a bronze medal in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. He played for England at the 1994 World Cup and 1999 Champions Trophy, and for Great Britain at the 1994 edition of the Champions Trophy. In 1996, he was named UK Hockey Writers’ UK Player of the Year. He retired from playing international hockey in 1999.

A high scoring forward, Crutchley, from the Wirral, began his playing career at Neston before moving south to play for Hounslow in the national league. A spell in Australia followed with Canberra before he returned to the UK to play for Cannock, sandwiching a short stint in Milan at Cernusco. A well known goal threat, Crutchley topped the goal scoring charts in England, Australia and Italy during his playing career.

He began his coaching career in Sheffield, where he coached from 1991-1993 after completing his course in business studies at Sheffield City Polytechnic. He continued to coach throughout his playing career and following his retirement from international hockey, took the opportunity to lead Bath Buccaneers and Bath University’s hockey clubs.

With Bobby Crutchley and Jason Lee confirmed as the head coaches of the senior men’s and women’s programmes, a further announcement concerning the appointments of their assistant coaches will be made in early March.

Bobby Crutchley Profile
Born 24 May 1970, Wirral

First started playing hockey with his brothers at the side of a hockey pitch in Neston while watching their father play

Attended Calday Grange Grammar School, Wirral

Studied business studies at Sheffield City Polytechnic (now Sheffield Hallam University) with further studies completed at the University of Chester and University of Central Lancashire

1988 – Playing for Neston HC, qualified for the inaugural National League

1990 – Neston HC promoted to National League Division 1

1990 – Neston HC won Division 2 League Cup, beating St Albans in the final

1991-1993 – Coached Sheffield HC during which time they won the North Premier league and qualified for the National League through the playoffs

1993 – Won the National League and Hockey Association Men’s Cup with Hounslow

1994 – Competed for England at the Champions Trophy finishing sixth

1994 – Competed for England at the World Cup in Sydney, finishing sixth

1996 – Won the National League with Cannock

1996 – Named UK Player of the Year by the Hockey Writers’ Club

1998 – Won the National League and Hockey Association Men’s Cup with Cannock

1999 - Won the National League with Cannock

1999 – Competed for England at the Champions Trophy finishing fifth

1999 – Retired from international hockey

1999-2005 – Coached Bath Buccaneers HC during which time the team won West Premier League and qualified for the National League through the playoffs

2002 – Appointed Head Coach to England U21 men’s squad

2003 – Appointed Assistant Coach to senior England women’s squad

2005 – Appointed Assistant Coach to the senior England men’s squad

2006 – England finishes fifth at the World Cup in Monchengladbach, the team’s highest finish since the 1990 competition

2007 – England finishes fifth at the European Championships in Manchester

2007 – Head Coach to the England U21 men and GB U21 men, winning silver at Australian Youth Olympic Festival with Great Britain U21s

2008 – Great Britain qualifies for 2008 Olympic Games after historic 2-1 victory over India in Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Chile

2008 – Great Britain finishes fifth at the Olympic Games in Beijing, four places higher than their ranking at the time

2009 – England wins the European Championship title with a stunning 5-3 victory over Germany

2010 – England finish fourth at the World Cup, a best finish since 1986, losing out to the Netherlands in the bronze medal match. World Cup campaign includes first win over arch rivals Australia since 1975

2010 – England wins Champions Trophy silver medal, the country’s first ever Champions Trophy medal

2011 – England wins European bronze medal beating Belgium on golden goal

2012- Great Britain’s men finish fourth at the London 2012 Olympic Games – in line with their world ranking - missing out on a medal after defeat to World Champions Australia.