Murray ends coaching career a satisfied man


New Delhi : For Frank Murray, there were no tears of joy, but only a sense of immense satisfaction at ending his coaching career with a gold medal in the women’s hockey competition of the Commonwealth Games here Wednesday.

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“For sure, it was an emotional moment for all of us today. For me, it is not so much as a gold medal as the people who matter most.

“Hopefully, I have left behind some thoughts for the group to reflect on and they will do better in the future. I will be there in London for the Olympics in two years’ time cheering the girls.

“I am very satisfied, but may be tonight or tomorrow, I will reflect on the achievement.

“I think, this team now needs a new voice, fresh ideas and direction. So, it is time for someone else to take over.

“As for me, I will take some rest and catch up on sleep. May be some golf, but I would like to remain linked to sports if not hockey,” said Murray, who had announced his retirement from coaching at the start of the tournament.

It was a fitting send-off for Murray and skipper Madonna Blyth said the gold medal that Australia won beating New Zealand on penalties in the final was indicative of a team that was on its way up.

Blyth said: “We have been through some difficult times in the recent past, and the gold medal today showed that we are on our way up.

“Of course, there is still a lot of hard work ahead of us and hopefully, we will do better in London (Olympics), for that is our target.”

Looking back on the past few years when the Aussies went through a trough, Murray said it all boiled down to a couple of matches.

Australia had finished second behind the Netherlands at the 2006 World Cup, but were fifth at the 2008 Olympics and the 2010 World Cup, inviting a lot of criticism with Murray giving a dressing down to the players.

“Actually, it all came down to a couple of matches. In Beijing, we drew with China and missed the semi-finals on goal-difference. At the World Cup, we lost to Germany by one goal and that knocked us out.

“But this is a good bunch and has some talented youngsters who will grow with experience and be ready for London Olympics,” said Murray.

Reflecting on the final, Blyth said when the Kiwis scored in the last minute to make it 2-2, it was difficult to keep focus and confidence levels up.

“But we had to remain composed and be positive. I think, all credit to the girls for keeping their nerves. Both teams had chances in extra-time, but could not convert,” she said.

On her missing a penalty stroke in the tie-breaker, Blyth said: “It was tough, but you always have the players to go back to and I am happy that eventually we got through.”

The New Zealand team declined to hold a post-match press conference.