Following an open recruitment process, former England and Great Britain defender Craig Parnham, 33, has been appointed as Assistant Coach to the England Senior Women’s Squad.
Parnham did not win any representative honours at junior level and did not get his first senior call up until he was 27. He went on to represent England 51 times and Great Britain 64 times throughout his career, winning both of his first caps against New Zealand. He played for Great Britain first on 27 January 2000 in Auckland, a game which Britain won 6-2. His first England cap followed on his 28th birthday 13 July 2001 at Cannock when he was also awarded the captaincy. England were comprehensively beaten 5-1. He played in one World Cup (2002) and two Olympic Games (2000, 2004).
Parnham will perhaps be mostly remembered for the near fatal injury he sustained whilst playing for England in the Azlan Shah Cup in Kuala Lumpar on 6 August 2001 when he was caught in the throat by an opposing players stick. The horrific incident meant his larynx needed rebuilding, but he made a remarkable recovery and returned to the England side just four months later on 3 January 2002. He resumed the captaincy later that month in South Africa and returned to Kuala Lumpar in February to lead England to seventh place at the World Cup.
He played his last international match for Great Britain in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and finished his career with 15 goals to his name, eight for England and seven for Great Britain.
On the domestic front, Parnham played most of his club hockey for Cannock where he enjoyed a lot of success, winning the league and cup a number of times. He also won a silver medal in Europe. Prior to Cannock, he played for Stourport and Bridgnorth.
Parnham will start his new position in June as England women head to Baku in Azerbaijan for the Ata Holding Hockey Champions Challenge. England will play Azerbaijan, China, Korea, New Zealand and the USA. Following this, England will by vying for the European crown at the EuroHockey Nations Championships at Belle Vue in Manchester between 18-26 August. Should England finish in the top three of this event, they will qualify on behalf of Great Britain for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Parnham was Assistant Coach to England U21 Women when the team claimed the silver medal in the European Cup in 2002. He has been working for Scottish Hockey since 2005 as the High Performance Coach for the West of Scotland Area Institute of Sport and U21 Men’s Coach. He is coaching the Highland Jaguars in the GB Super League.
Parnham is delighted to be rejoining the England international set up in his new role and commented “I am really looking forward to taking up this position and cannot wait to work with the new management team and the players. This is an exciting time to be working with England Hockey.”
Head Women’s Coach Danny Kerry said: “I’m delighted with Craig’s appointment. I believe that the skills and experiences he will bring will complement the existing skill sets within the management team”.
Danny Kerry, Head Women’s Coach, 07966 305843
Photography: Getty Images
Photography: Getty Images