Record Breaking L1 Coach Brett Garrard Steps Away
By Surbiton HC
Surbiton Ladies 1s Coach Brett Garrard is stepping back from his role after leading the team to an unprecedented spell of success in English club hockey.
A former England & Great Britain player and double Olympian, as a coach Brett has been a huge influence on the growth and success of women’s hockey at Surbiton HC as well as being a great ambassador for club hockey more widely.
Towards the end of a successful playing career for Surbiton, Brett became Ladies 1s coach at the beginning of the 2009/10 season, initially in a joint role alongside Helen Grant. At the time, the L1 were playing in the East Conference, but achieved two promotions in three years, culminating in their first ever season of Premier Division hockey in 2012/13, where the side had their first taste of the Playoff Finals having finished fourth in the regular season.
An immense period of success followed with the team going on to lift eight consecutive national titles from 2014-2022, take four National Tier 1 Cup wins and achieve an incredible 53-game unbeaten run in domestic hockey between 2014-2017.
Surbiton Ladies 1s: Statistics Under Brett Garrard*
- Seasons: 14
- National titles: 8
- National T1 Cups: 4
- Total games played (including domestic League, Cup & Playoffs and European competition): 321
- Total games won: 230 (71.7%)
Despite his deserved reputation as one of the best coaches in the country, Brett’s legacy at Surbiton is about more than just trophies and records. He has overseen the development of a number of England & Great Britain’s international stars as well as bringing through promising juniors at Surbiton and providing a supportive, competitive environment for the first team’s club players. The ongoing success of the team over the 14 seasons he has been at the helm is testament to Brett’s ability to evolve as a coach and work effectively with a range of players and personalities.
Having grown up in the local area, Brett has been involved as a player and coach at Surbiton since his teenage years and we very much hope to see him continue to stay involved in some capacity at the club alongside his exciting new role as Director of Hockey at Epsom College.
Sarah Evans, Ladies 1s captain for most of Brett’s tenure says, “Brett has truly been the reason behind our sustained success as a Ladies 1s squad over the last 14 years. He has this amazing ability to get the best out of players no matter what their experience level is and has created an environment that has the perfect balance of being highly competitive but also ensuring that everyone has fun. Personally, I owe so much to Brett and would not have been able to navigate the highs and lows of international hockey without his guidance and support. Everyone in the Ladies 1s will hugely miss Brett but we wish him all the best with his new role.”
Club Captain Sian Craze says, “Brett has been a massive part of the Ladies section at Surbiton since he stopped playing and dedicated himself to coaching. He has been a big inspiration to many players over the years, myself included. He’s taken the Ladies 1s from strength to strength as a team as shown by his amazing coaching statistics, but individuals in his teams have also thrived under his coaching and developed into incredible players. We will miss hearing his shouts of “UP!” from the coach's chair and his 'box of doom' which I’m sure he’s still using at training sessions! Thank you, Brett, for your devotion to the club for so many years and for helping to create such a brilliant legacy for Ladies hockey at SHC."
Reflecting on his time as Surbiton L1 coach, Brett says, “My initial aim was very clear - to get the team and Ladies hockey at Surbiton to the same level as the men. It was a job that I only intended to do for a few years but I have to say that after 14 seasons it has been the most rewarding, challenging and fun time I have had in hockey. The journey became far more than any success - it was about building a culture and environment where players could have fun, develop and be part of a great club. I was lucky to be part of the club myself at such a young age and enjoy life both on and off the field, and that was something I always wanted the L1 players to experience. I think it shows we did something right as many of the girls from the 10+ years are still good friends and continue to come back to the club. For me, that is what club hockey is all about.”
From all at Surbiton, a huge thank you to Brett and congratulations on everything you have achieved with the Ladies 1s over the last 14 seasons. Best wishes for your future endeavours on and off the pitch, and we look forward to continuing to see you and the Garrard family at Sugden Road over the years to come.
*All statistics provided by Colin Pike
We are actively seeking interest from high level coaches who are interested in building on Brett’s incredible work with the Surbiton Ladies 1s to continue to move the team forward. If you would like to express interest or request more information about the role please contact firstname.lastname@example.org