IAN Haley, who played for South Africa in the London 2012 Olympics, will be turning out for Taunton Vale next season.

The experienced international is director of hockey and a PE teacher at Queen’s College, Taunton.

He said: “Joining Taunton Vale will be a new challenge and chapter for me as I have played for the University of Exeter HC for the past 12 years, with stints at Firebrands and Reading in between.

“The new blue pitch will be great for the club and hopefully start attracting interest that might be elsewhere at both junior and senior level.

“I am looking forward to adding my bit to the team.”

Club chairman Harry Riste said: “We’re all delighted that Ian has chosen the club as his new home.

“He will be an inspiration to our thriving junior section of 250 members, while at the same time helping to raise the bar in the senior section, and boosting aspirations of attaining and sustaining National League status.

“All very fitting, as his arrival coincides with the turnaround of the club’s fortunes over the last 12 months.”

The club is eagerly awaiting the official opening of their new pitch with the ‘The Big Switch On’ scheduled for Saturday, September 6 at 4pm.

Haley will bring a wealth of experience to the club.

He said: “I played for the South African men’s team from 2003 until 2012, earning 86 caps, attending the London 2012 Olympic Games, the 2010 Commonwealth games and the 2010 World Cup.”