Holland takes on new challenge with England Hockey

Brett Holland and his team

Brett Holland, centre, has accepted a new challenge in international hockey.

Brett Holland, Loughborough University’s Women's Hockey Performance Head Coach, will take on a new challenge in international hockey.

Holland has been appointed as coach for the England U-21s and the GB U-23s in the Elite Domestic Programme (EDP) and will also hold the position of Coach Developer at England Hockey.

During a successful six years at Loughborough, Brett’s leadership ensured the hockey programme continued to grow and flourish.

Joining the University in 2017, Holland soon made his mark, leading his side to British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Gold – the first time Loughborough had achieved such a feat in 10 years.

The following season Loughborough Students remained undefeated as they secured the league title, conceding just seven goals in 18 games.

His side went on to secure promotion via the play-offs, beating Slough at Lee Valley. Brett and his support team also led the team to back-to-back BUCS Gold and victory in the BUCS League.

The team once impressed, surviving its first season in the Premier League. After a COVID-19 hit campaign, Loughborough continued to show great resolve, remaining undefeated against Surbiton, and Hamstead & Westminster – sides that held the top spots the previous year.

More success was to follow as Brett led the team to BUCS semi-finals, and also secured Premier League status for another year. Two of his players also received senior caps for England in the FIH Pro League.

Loughborough Students gain promotion to the premier league

Under Holland’s stewardship, many of his players progressed to international level, including Lizzie Neal, Miriam Pritchard, Izzy Petter, Catherine Ledesma, Liv Hamilton, Lorna MacKenzie, and Jane Kilpatrick.

In addition, Loughborough recently had five players at the Junior World Cup, with England securing their best-ever finish as they claimed a well-deserved bronze medal.

“It’s been a privilege to work with such talented and dedicated players and staff,” Brett told Loughborough Sport.

“To have sustained success over such a long period of time isn’t a fluke and takes consistency in doing the right things over and over with moments of absolute excellence on top.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have led the programme during this period and it’s with a heavy heart that I’ve taken the decision to step away.

“We talk a lot about being connected as the ‘Loughborough Family’ which coupled with genuine hard work and clear joy of being together it’s truly powerful and has driven a lot of the team and individual successes.

“This is also what supports each other in the low moments and gets you through the tough times, which sadly has been needed more than ever this season. How the team have done that this year will no doubt be the thing I’ll be most proud of as I leave the University.

“It’s certainly the connections with players and staff and that genuine care we have for each other that I’ll miss the most.

“The platform I had when I joined the university six years ago was laid down and driven by the players long before I arrived. They dictate the culture and the clear expectations to new members of the family to ensure that their moment in history is as good as it can be in the African Violet. And this will continue long into the future – we stand on the shoulders of giants.

“I’m excited to see who will get this privilege next and write the new chapter in this already brilliant novel that is steeped in rich history.”

Loughborough students score

Loughborough Sport will be recruiting for Brett’s replacement in due course, with all information provided via the University’s job portal: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/hr/jobs/current-vacancies/