When the Reids first landed on Indian soil in 2019, Julia was instrumental in helping her husband settle into his new job. She became the teacher, helping the boys master English, while Graham handled on-field tactics.
Ms Reid has since visited many venues in India, and coming to the World Cup in Rourkela and Bhubaneswar was an obvious choice.
Dressed in India colors with the team jacket, Julia cheered on her husband and the team from the stands as the hosts took on Spain at the brand new Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela on Friday.
“I’ve been here for almost four years now…and in Rourkela for about a week, then back to Bhubaneswar and now here at the stadium watching the games,” Julia told Timesofindia.com, as she walked out of the stadium with a friend.
When Graham walked into the press conference room after the win over Spain, he had ‘relief’ written all over his expressions. And when this journalist whispered to him “drop the monkey in the back”, the coach hastened to add in a low voice: “Exactly”.
“He was a little nervous,” Julia said. “And he would have been quite moved tonight seeing this crowded stadium and the atmosphere; it was a fantastic experience. Now he would be very happy.”
The first game of a big tournament, especially a home World Cup with over 20,000 people expecting you to win, can bring added pressure.
Julia said Reid was carrying those nerves, but he was in control.
“He was under pressure, but he will be very happy that this first match is won and that the boys are playing very well,” she said.
India beat Spain 2-0 and are second after the first round of Pool D matches. England are top, thanks to their 5-0 loss to traditional rivals Wales.
When reminded of her days as the team’s English teacher, Julia said that it had been a while since she had played that role and was happy to see the boys having made it through. this little barrier.
“When I came (to India), we practiced player interviews. It was fun,” she said.
“I find it easy to talk to them. Most of them understand well and speak English quite well too.”
The plan for the next two weeks is pretty straightforward for Mr. Reid.
“I will be there for all of India’s World Cup matches.”