Helen Richardson-Walsh seeks to help inspire Cambridge City Hockey Club's talented youngsters
Rio Olympic gold medallist to take on new role
Helen Richardson-Walsh is looking forward to forging a shared hockey philosophy with Ross Hayward at Cambridge City Hockey Club next season.
The 36-year-old Rio Olympics gold medallist joined City as a player last year, but will become assistant to head coach Hayward for the forthcoming campaign.
“I really enjoyed my season last year and I felt like I could offer a bit more on the coaching side,” said Richardson-Walsh. “Ross is a really experienced player first and foremost, and also has been with the squad a long time.
“I think we’ve got similar philosophies when it comes to hockey, which I learnt last year. He was a Cannock player many years ago and I was coached by Chris Mayer, who was also a Cannock player back in the day.
“I think we have similar thoughts about how we want the game to be played so it felt like a natural fit for me to help him next season.”
There are a host of talented youngsters in the City ranks, and Richardson-Walsh is relishing the chance to work with them in order to help them reach their full potential.
“There are a core of senior players who have been there for a good number of years, but there are a lot of inexperienced and younger players coming through,” she said.
“I think it’s what makes it an exciting team. I’ve had my playing days at the top level, but it’s great to be able to help and give back and try to help the next generation of players.
“Some of them will hopefully go on to represent England as well, which would be fantastic.”
She added: “We have a few new players coming on board which will hopefully strengthen the squad and I’m really looking forward to taking on the new role and seeing what coaching is all about.”
City chairman Andy Richardson is delighted that Richardson-Walsh is staying to play at City this season, and assisting Hayward on the coaching side of things.
“Helen coached all our club members last season at some point from the under-sixes up to the senior and social players,” he said.
“This was great for all members who managed to gain the benefit of an international athlete’s thoughts, ideas and how she works to improve her own game.
“At the elite end this year we hope that the partnership with Ross will be successful as they look to create a squad with the skills and ethos to win the league.
“While Helen might bring the obvious things like technical and tactical insight; she will also be using the skills and knowledge she has learnt about the psychological side of the game through both her own experiences but also through completing her psychology degree, and she is also moving on to do her masters in the same subject.
“We look forward to the season commencing and watching some free-flowing, exciting, attacking hockey.”