Craig Fulton will be leading the Indian national hockey team at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games ©Getty Images

South Africa's Craig Fulton has been named head coach of the Indian men's field hockey team, replacing Australia's Graham Reid.

Reid served his role since 2019, stepping down after a poor performance at the 2023 Men's International Hockey Federation (FIH) World Cup, where India as hosts were eliminated by New Zealand at the crossovers round.

Fulton joins after a successful stint as Belgium's assistant coach, winners of the the 2018 FIH World Cup and the Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020. 

"It is an honour to be appointed in the role of chief coach for the Indian men’s hockey team," said the former Ireland coach, according to the Hockey Paper.

"India has a deep history and legacy of the sport and I look forward to working to take this forward with the current team which has some very promising talent."

Fulton represented his nation South Africa from 1996 to 2005, making 191 appearances and scoring two goals playing mainly as a midfielder.

He also played for clubs Chelmsford of the England Hockey League and Pembroke Wanderers of the Irish Hockey league, as he served as a player-coach for both teams.

Craig Fulton won the 2015 FIH Coach of the Year ©Getty Images
Craig Fulton won the 2015 FIH Coach of the Year ©Getty Images

Fulton retired from playing in 2010 to focus on coaching full time, leading the University of Pretoria and the Northern Blues for four years.

Fulton then went on to secure a role as the Ireland head coach, where he guided the team to qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2018 FIH World Cup.

He was voted the 2015 FIH Men's Coach of the Year.

Fulton resigned in 2018, taking a role for the Belgian team.

Using his 25 years of experience, Fulton now turns his attention the Indian national team, where he is due to take charge in the Pro league matches against Australia and Germany. 

India's main focus will be the Asian Games in Hangzhou, due to take place from September 23 to October 8, where qualification spots for next year's Olympic Games in Paris are available.