Batch set on getting New Zealand hockey a gold at Rio 2016
Sunday, 07 October 2012
October 7 - New Zealand's new men's hockey coach Colin Batch is intent on making them a top four side after being appointed to take the team through to the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Batch (pictured above) has been in charge of Belgium's side for the last two years, and also been an assistant coach for Australia during two bronze medal performances at the Olympics.
He takes over from Shane McLeod, whose team finished fifth in their preliminary group at the London 2012 Olympics.
By contrast Batch led Belgium to a fifth place finish in the same group, as they overcame more illustrious opponents including eight-time champions India.
Batch believes New Zealand should be aiming to emulate the 1976 team that won gold at the Toronto Olympics.
"It might take four years, it might take eight years, it might take 16 years, but you have to have that ambition," he said.
"To do that, we have to become a regular top-four team.
"That would be the goal over the next four years."
Both of New Zealand's hockey teams are now coached by Australians, with Mark Hager in charge of the women, who finished fourth in London.
Batch will be looking forward to taking his team to Australia this December for their first major test when they compete in the Champions Trophy.