Hockey World Information stories with deep sorrow that Craig Keegan has handed away after a short sickness. Craig has served in quite a lot of teaching capacities for England and Nice Britain for over ten years, together with as an assistant coach for the 2016 gold-medal successful ladies’s crew. Craig made a major affect on the game in the UK, with ties to quite a few golf equipment and academies comparable to Bedford, Beeston, Belper, Trent School, and most just lately, the College of Derby.
Rod Gilmour of the Hockey Paper pays tribute to the Gold Medal Successful Assistant Coach of Nice Britain.
The world of hockey has paid tribute to Craig Keegan, the previous assistant coach of GB ladies’s Olympic gold medal crew, who died on Wednesday. He was 54.
Keegan, a Tasmanian, first got here to the UK in his mid-twenties and had lived in Derbyshire since 2000. He joined the GB and England ladies’s programme in 2013 and was a pivotal pressure of their attacking aim threats as England received European gold in 2015 and GB beat the Netherlands to land Olympic gold for the primary time in 2016.
Keegan had battled Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma for 18 months. He married his accomplice, Sally, in early February, and leaves one daughter, Olivia, from a earlier marriage.
“You have been liked by so many individuals, husband, father, coach, good friend, inspiration, Craig, you have been fairly merely, a legend and you’ll reside on by way of all of the individuals who’s lives you’ve gotten touched in so some ways,” Sally wrote on Instagram.
Born in South Burnie, north western Tasmania – the place hockey ‘was performed exhausting or more durable’ – Keegan by no means received a cap for the Kookaburras however was cited as top-of-the-line attackers in his mid 20s following stints taking part in for Bedford and Beeston within the UK.
“In one other time he would have performed for Australia,” stated Todd Williams, a good friend and former team-mate. “He was an excellent participant for Tasmania, considered one of their greatest, however he was by no means pushed into something larger.
“He got here to the UK and that’s why I’m in awe of him, as he went again within the late nineties and was the highest scorer within the AHL two seasons operating.
“He was nice 1 v 1 however not a fantastic goalscorer. When he returned from England, he trapped every part thrown at him, he might flick corners, go and got here again the whole bundle.
“There was an unimaginable elevation in his sport to being top-of-the-line within the nation whereas there was additionally the transformation in his character.”
England Hockey initially appointed Keegan in 2008 as head coach of the Nationwide Efficiency Centre in Loughborough. Having coached each the lads’s and ladies’s nationwide age group squads as an assistant and head coach, Keegan then led the under-21 ladies’s facet to bronze on the 2012 European Championships.
He was appointed GB and England assistant ladies’s coach to the senior facet in 2013. He was additionally tipped to develop into head coach after England’s poor 2014 World Cup earlier than working alongside Danny Kerry over a glittering two-year spell.
The Australian left the GB arrange with fellow assistant coach Karen Brown in 2017. In recent times he coached Belper ladies whereas he was additionally deputy director of sport at Derby College.
“The perfect at what he did, the best of people and one we are going to miss so dearly,” Alex Danson-Bennett wrote on social media.
“Craig, or Keegs, was additionally a improbable coach and our goal-scoring guru,” Danson-Bennett had additionally revealed in a Hockey Paper column in 2017. “He confirmed us how one can be actually tenacious as a striker – it’s a behaviour in addition to a ability – and I feel he confirmed us how one can be extra thrilling to look at, and extra thrilling for the gamers.
“Let’s face it, all people loves to attain a aim so he bought to take care of probably the most pleasant facet of the sport. He even managed to alter our language – from aim capturing, to aim scoring and that helped change our mind-set, giving us a extra attacking mindset. Coaching with him was at all times enjoyable.
On the pitch, he was a teak robust ahead, simply as he was in his remaining weeks regardless of his terminal relapse in January.
“I noticed myself as somebody who was a participant and coach. Successful was the result; I led by instance and thru the standard of play,” Keegan as soon as informed The Hockey Paper in an interview. “Nevertheless in my want to achieve success I did cross the road every so often and spent a little bit of time within the sin bin in my profession. However I performed on the sting of depth!”
Williams added: “He was dedicated, exhausting as nails and he would rub you up the flawed method however equally do one thing fairly the alternative.
“He was a loyal good friend. He would push you and push you and it was at all times to your profit.”
Iain Randall, an in depth good friend and Trent’s head of hockey, stated: “Craig’s ardour and enthusiasm for the sport can have a long-lasting affect on these fortunate sufficient to have shared a pitch with him.”
England Hockey stated in a press release: “Craig labored in varied teaching roles for England and Nice Britain for over 10 years. His contribution to the game domestically was intensive, with many membership and faculty connections together with Bedford, Beeston, Belper, Trent School and most just lately on the College of Derby. Our deepest sympathies go to Craig’s household.”