Otago role lures Gill back

Hymie Gill. Photo: Supplied
Hymie Gill. Photo: Supplied
The lure of home has brought Hymie Gill back to Dunedin.

The 45-year-old will begin as Otago Hockey's new pathways manager in January, returning to the South after more than 20 years away.

He brings plenty of experience to the role from his playing and coaching careers.

Gill played 79 tests for the Black Sticks, and has been a professional coach for the past 18 years. That has taken him to Belgium, Italy, England and various parts of New Zealand.

At present he is in Whangarei, where he is Hockey Northland's development manager.

He was also recently confirmed as the New Zealand under-18 men's coach.

However, he now has a young family and is hoping to settle down somewhere.

A return home had been on the radar for the past three years and when the chance came up he jumped at it.

Gill finishes his contract with Hockey Northland in about four weeks, after which he will move south with partner Rachel Lecky and 18-month-old son Mason.

"Whangarei's beautiful, the weather's amazing, the beaches are outstanding, it's an awesome city.

"But it's different to Dunedin.

"It's like you're going to a different country, going to the South Island, and after living in the North Island for a number of years, it really is picturesque and beautiful.

"Dunedin's amazing - the old buildings, the train station and the little cafes they've got there.

"It was those little things that tipped the scales to get us to come down."

Gill grew up in Mosgiel, attending Mosgiel West Primary School and John McGlashan College for intermediate.

He then went to boarding school in Christchurch for his secondary schooling but returned to Otago for university.

However, in his mid-20s he moved back to Christchurch to further his hockey career.

That set him on a path that took him to a host of different places.

"Hockey's been good to me in terms of getting around the world and visiting and living in different countries.

"I've got a bit of experience around it and I can see that you can make a little bit of a job from playing hockey.

"There might be some young players in Dunedin that have those aspirations to play professionally overseas, so I want to give them the right information to get them in the right shape of mind so they can do those sort of things."

His role would primarily be in ensuring the pathways from the younger age-groups through to the top senior teams were visible to players.

Among his goals is increasing participation, both in playing and coaching ranks, as well as having the representative teams making at least the top eight at national tournaments.


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