READING Hockey Club’s director of hockey and men’s head coach Danny Newcombe has been appointed head coach to the Wales men’s squad, writes Dave Wright.

He will fulfil all three roles, with the Blues confident he is the right man to help guide them back to the England League’s Premier Division following their shock relegation last season.

Blues’ chairman Tim Hamilton said: “We were aware of his situation in advance and had planned accordingly.

“He will continue to be assisted and mentored by Jason Lee. We have also appointed an exciting young South African coach, Martin Schouten, to assist the men’s 1st XI and look after the M2s.”

Newcombe, who has been part of the Wales coaching set-up for more than nine years, will take up his new position next month for an interim period of 12 months to ensure continuity for the squad in the lead up to their crucial European competition in June 2021. He said: “I am incredibly honoured to have the opportunity to lead the senior men’s programme. This is a special group of people, one that is a privilege to be part of. I am very aware that I have some big shoes to fill. However, I am excited to continue the great progress we have made under Zak’s (Jones) leadership.”

Jones is moving to a new role with the GB men’s set-up based at Bisham Abbey.

Schouten, previously with Teddington HC, brings a wealth of coaching experience to Reading.

He will assist Chris Gittens and help run the boys under-16 to under-18 age groups, providing a key development link for the club’s talented juniors.

Player-coach Jo Ellis will have a new assistant with the women’s first-team squad following the appointment of Soma Singh, who was capped 189 times for England and Great Britain and played at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

The director of sport at Lord Wandsworth College in Hampshire, Singh is no stranger at Sonning Lane as he has played for Reading’s successful veterans’ side in recent years.