Reading Hockey Club have appointed Danny Newcombe as their director of hockey, a newly-created role, writes Dave Wright.

He will continue to be the head coach as the Blues look to get their men's and women's first teams back into to the respective England League's Premier Divisions.

Newcombe was the main man on the bench last season having previously assisted Jason Lee, who had been head of the performance squad for two seasons.  

Lee, former coach to the England men's squad, became increasingly committed to his other job of being an elite coaching consultant for a number of professional football clubs.

He will, however, continue to support Newcombe when available.

"I have every faith that they will mastermind our return to the Premier League," says new club chairman Tim Hamilton.

"Last season we rolled out a new coach development programme, sponsored by Child’s Farm, which was led by Danny, with a clear aim to upskill and develop the coaches we have.

 It has also been a useful recruitment tool as we seek to grow our colts section."

He continued: "This season, we have appointed Danny as director of hockey, a new role.

He will continue to lead the men’s performance programme, but will also work closely with the ladies' coaching team as we strive for excellence as a club.

"In a world where money has shifted the balance of those competing at the top of the top leagues, we need to build sustainably, share resources where possible and continue to grow our own talent.

"I am now very confident that we have the right team in place to achieve our ambitions."

In addition to bringing in new players, Reading are launching a recruiting programme for more volunteers.

A number of important roles remain unfilled, as Hamilton highlighted at the club's recent annual meeting which was held online.

There are vacancies on the committees covering commercial, finance, administration and facilities.

"We want people who feel they can make a difference to the club, helping us to become even more loved," Hamilton stated.