Shane McLeod is set to link up with Hamburger Polo Club following the announcement he is stepping away from the Belgian Red lions set-up along with Craig Fulton.
McLeod was head coach in their run to Olympic gold in Tokyo as well as the 2018 World Cup and the 2019 EuroHockey Championships and he remained in an assistant coach role to Michel van den Heuvel.
The New Zealander will take on an advisory role at Hamburger Polo Club and help them freshen up the program.
The men’s team, led by former German international Matthias Witthaus, includes five New Zealand players, three of whom were coached by McLeod when he was head coach of the New Zealand team.
Explaining his decision in a Belgian federation statement, he expressed the need to put some distance between the staff and players he was involved with for the last eight years and his will to take on a new developmental challenge.
It comes at a fascinating time in the evolution of Hamburger Polo Club who have risen from the Oberliga (fourth division) to the final of the German championship within an eight year period.
They only missed out on that title 1-0 to Rot-Weiss Köln last season and they went on to sweep through the EHL KO16 last October with wins over Lisnagarvey and Wimbledon.
Among McLeod’s early appointments will be facing Rot-Weiss once more in the EHL Men’s FINAL8 on Friday, April 7 with the New Zealander named as an assistant coach for the tournament.
He has previously coached in the EHL with Waterloo Ducks between 2013 and 2015.
Fulton, meanwhile, has also moved on from the Belgian coaching team to take up the role of India’s head coach, taking over from Graham Reid who stepped down after January’s World Cup.