The Sunday Post (Dundee)
Skipper Kate pays tribute to coach Danny
KATE RICHARDSON-WALSH paid tribute to Great Britain coach Danny Kerry for fostering the tactical awareness and the indomitable spirit which secured Olympic gold.
Britain twice fought back to draw 3-3 and then won the penalty shootout courtesy of heroics from goalkeeper Maddie Hinch and nerveless efforts from Helen Richardson-Walsh and Hollie Webb.
Kerry led Britain’s women to bronze at London 2012 before becoming British Hockey performance director. Two years later he returned as coach.
Skipper Richardson-Walsh, who retired on a high after her fourth Olympics, said: “Danny is a master tactician. He understands the game and spends hours looking at the opposition to find the little differences we can make in our games, the little tweaks we can make tactically game to game.
“I think that’s partly won us this medal.”
Holland were piling on the pressure in Friday night’s final, but Britain did not relent and Kerry’s tactical tweaks in the final quarter pushed the world champions back and Britain found an equaliser to force penalties.
Kerry said: “We have a thing called ‘Thinking Thursdays’. It’s two hours of very physically and mentally hard training and preparation where we always talk about finding a way to win and that’s what it was today.
“It’s working them to the absolute nth degree in terms of intensity but they have to win the game by doing certain things and it requires them to think their way through when they’re absolutely dead on their feet.
“We know there are certain games at the top end of the world game where that’s what it’s about.
“We had to defend, we had to dig trenches. Then we changed stuff in the last quarter and it paid off.”