New Kookaburras coach Graham Reid will consider drafting in Jamie Dwyer as one of his assistants if the star hockey striker decides to retire.
Dwyer’s playing future is up in the air after the five-time World Player of the Year was left out of Australia’s title-winning campaign at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Reid has been appointed as the new coach of Australia’s men’s hockey team on a two-year deal, with his major brief to lead the side to gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
The 50-year-old former Kookaburra replaces legendary coach Ric Charlesworth, who stepped down following the team’s World Cup triumph in the Netherlands in June.
Although Reid said it was a “bit hard to tell” whether Dwyer would play on, he denied the 35-year-old’s omission from the Commonwealth Games squad was a precursor to the end.
“He has been left home before, as our current captain Mark (Knowles) has been left out before,” Reid said on Thursday.
“It’s a common thing. He was told and given pre-notice. He certainly wasn’t dropped.
“As I said to him straight after, I’m very happy to sit down and work out the future.”
When asked whether Dwyer could potentially come on board as a coach, Reid replied: “That’s always an option. He is a natural coach.
“If that’s his (goal), then it’s always good to have someone like that around the program.”
Reid played 130 games for the Kookaburras between 1984 and 1992, and has been a senior assistant coach with the Kookaburras since 2009.
He also has 21 years’ of experience in the IT industry.
When Charlesworth stepped down from his role earlier this year, Reid combined with fellow assistant Paul Gaudoin to lead the Kookaburras to gold at the Commonwealth Games.
Reid is hopeful Gaudoin will stay on as an assistant despite missing out on the top job.
The Kookaburras have been placed in the top four at every Olympic Games between 1980 to 2012, but their only gold medal was at the 2004 Games in Athens.
Reid is aiming to lead Australia back to the top of the podium, saying he learned great lessons from Charlesworth during the previous five years.
“To follow in Ric Charlesworth’s footsteps is definitely an interesting challenge,” Reid said.
“He’s someone who transcends our sport and he has a list of accomplishments as long as your arm.
“But I relish that challenge and look forward to doing it.”
GRAHAM REID’S HOCKEY CAREER SO FAR
*1984: Made international debut in 2-0 victory over the Netherlands
*1992: Made his 130th and final appearance for Australia in a 2-1 loss to Germany in the Olympic final
*2009: Appointed assistant coach at the Kookaburras
*2012: Filled in as head coach for the absent Ric Charlesworth at Champions Trophy, leading Australia to gold
*2013: Filled in as head coach for the Oceania Cup, leading Australia to gold
*2014: Combined with fellow assistant Paul Gaudoin to lead the side to gold at Commonwealth Games
*2014: Appointed head coach of the Kookaburras on a two-year deal.