Reid's rise from Redcliffe to Olympic toast of India

Published 3:00pm 6 August 2021

Reid's rise from Redcliffe to Olympic toast of India
Words by Nick Crockford
Above: Graham Reid coaching Australia. Picture: Dan Carson, DC Images

Former Redcliffe player-coach Graham Reid is being saluted on the sub-continent after guiding India to its first Olympic hockey men’s medal in more than 40 years.

Reid, 57, has transformed the India team since taking over in 2019 – the country’s eighth coach in 10 years - and capped it with a remarkable bronze medal in Tokyo.

Trailing 3-1 to Germany in the bronze medal match, India rallied to score four times and lead 5-3. Germany pulled one back but could not find an equaliser.

India has eight hockey gold medals at Olympic level, but none since 1980. In fact, it had not even made the semi-finals in more than four decades.

After losing 7-1 to Australia in an early Olympic pool game, India recovered magnificently to qualify for the quarter-finals where they Great Britain 3-1.

Belgium proved too tough in the semi-finals winning 5-2, putting India into the bronze medal game against Germany yesterday.

At the helm was Reid, a four-time Olympian, who grew up in Redcliffe and was a junior at Redcliffe Leagues Hockey Club.

Reid's rise from Redcliffe to Olympic toast of India

He won the Brisbane Hockey Association Best & Fairest Medal as a Redcliffe player in 1983 and six years later the Brisbane Division One championship as Redcliffe’s player-coach.

Reid is one of only two players to win league player of the year awards in Brisbane and Perth (1995, 1996 and 1998) and is in the Hockey Queensland Hall of Fame in 2015.

He played 130 games for Australia from 1984 to 1992, winning the 1990 World Cup and an Olympic Games silver medal in 1992.

Reid's rise from Redcliffe to Olympic toast of India
Graham Reid in his playing days for Australia

Reid coached the Australian Kookaburras national men's team from 2014-16, winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2014.

He has also been to the Olympics twice as a player (1988 and 1992) and twice as coach (2016 with Australia; 2020 with India).

Under Reid's coaching, India has climbed to third in the FIH world rankings, their highest position since the inception of the world rankings in 2003.

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