International star wings in as Rio heroine steps down
- Credit: Archant
St Albans Hockey Club have turned to another former international – after ladies’ head coach, and Rio Olympic gold medallist Hannah Macleod stepped down.
The GB star steps down after three years in charge at Oaklands, although she will remain with the club as a coaching consultant.
Her place will be taken by Adnan Zakir, who was capped for Pakistan from 2004 and helped them win silver at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006.
He was named as player of the tournament in the Asia Cup and picked up a bronze medal at the Champions Trophy, one of three appearances in that competition, and has also played in both the junior and senior World Cup.
Domestically he played for Holcombe and for Canterbury in the Premier Division.
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He was player-coach at Old Loughtonians and director of coaching at Ipswich, as well as being the head of the academy there and coaching Ipswich High School for Girls.
On the international scene he has been assistant coach of Egypt and Azerbaijan’s national teams and held the role of strength and conditioning coach for the Pakistan side.
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Adnan Zakir said: “I am delighted to take on the role of head coach at such a prestigious and historic club and am really excited about the seasons ahead.
“SAHC has a very talented playing squad with a wealth of top class experience and a fantastic crop of youngsters. I can’t wait for pre-season to get started and to start moulding the team together.”
Macleod said: “I am delighted St Albans are continuing to invest in high quality coaches. Player development at every level of the game, from juniors through to our masters internationals, is at the core of this club’s priorities and this is reflected in the decision to appoint Adnan for the coming season.”
St Albans ladies’ captain Amie Hone said: “Adnan has had a fantastic playing career with years of experience at an international level.
“On behalf of the ladies 1st team I would like to say that we are very much looking forward to working with him this coming season.”
The club’s head coach Dillet Gilkes said: “Adnan brings with him a wealth of experience, flair and charisma that will be invaluable to the club.”