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13 Mar 2013

Loughborough Students’ coaches appointed by England Hockey

Left to right: David Ralph and John Bleby. (Photo of John courtesy of England Hockey / Ady Kerry photography

Loughborough Students men’s hockey coaches David Ralph and Jon Bleby have been appointed by England Hockey as assistant coaches to work with the England and Great Britain men’s and women’s squads.

They will be joined byCraig Keegan and Karen Brown to complete the assistant coach team.

Together they will support head coaches Jason Lee (women) and Bobby Crutchley (men) for the 2013-2016 Olympic cycle.

David and Jon will be joining fellow Loughborough alumni members Danny Kerry (Performance Director) and Jason Lee at England Hockey, in leading and supporting the national performance squads on the Road to Rio.

Andy Borrie, Deputy Director of Sport at Loughborough University, said:

“I am delighted that England Hockey has appointed David and Jon as part of their new coaching set up.

“Not only have both been great servants to hockey at Loughborough, but their appointments also illustrate how we have one of the best coach development environments in the country.

“We will reflect and take stock before appointing a new coaching team, but with the heritage and strength of our hockey programmes we will want to ensure that Loughborough continues to be the pipeline for coaches and players wanting to compete at the highest levels of the game.”

David Ralph is a former Scottish international who notched up 126 appearances for his country. He has been the head coach at Loughborough Students Men’s Hockey since 2003, where he led his team to national indoor success four times and has maintained their status in the men’s hockey league premier division.

Speaking of his appointment, David Ralph said:

“I am delighted and honoured to be joining the coaching team and I am looking forward to working with the players. I know we face some tough challenges ahead but I relish the opportunity I have been given to play my part in the team.

“I would also like to thank Loughborough University for the support they have shown me over the years.”

Jon Bleby is an Olympian who received 91 caps for England and Great Britain. After retiring from playing international hockey in 2008 Jon started out as an assistant coach to both Loughborough Students and the England Under 18 boys National Age Group Squad.

Jon Bleby said:

“I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be taking up the position of assistant coach and cannot wait to work with the new coaching team and players. There are many exciting challenges ahead and I am really looking forward to giving the role my very best efforts."

The assistant coaches will start their new roles with England Hockey when the international squads return to training in April.

−ENDS−

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 13/39

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 11 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

Contact for all media enquiries

Rob Knott
Sports PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: R.A.Knott@lboro.ac.uk