When the Reids first landed on Indian soil back in 2019, Julia played a role in helping her husband settle into his new job. She became the teacher, helping the boys with their English language skills, while Graham took care of tactics on the field.
Mrs Reid has since been to many venues in India, and coming to the World Cup in Rourkela and Bhubaneswar was an obvious choice.
Dressed in India colours with the team jacket on, Julia was cheering from the stands for her husband and the team when the hosts took on Spain at the brand new Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela on Friday.
“I have been here for nearly four years now…and in Rourkela for about a week, then back to Bhubaneswar and now here at the stadium to watch the games,” Julia told Timesofindia.com, as she exited 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 reporter whispered to him “got the monkey off the back,” the coach was quick to add in a hushed tone: “Exactly”.
Wife Julia the calming influence on coach Reid’s World Cup nerves
“He was a bit nervous,” said Julia. “And he would have been pretty emotional tonight seeing that stadium full of people 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 more than 20,000 people expecting you to win, can bring some added pressure.
Julia said Reid did carry those nerves, but was in control.
“He was under pressure, but he will be very happy to get that first game won and the boys playing very nicely,” she said.
India beat Spain 2-0 and are second after the first round of matches in Pool D. England are on top, thanks to their 5-0 rout of traditional rivals Wales.
When reminded of her days as the team’s English teacher, Julia said it’s been a while since she played that role and is happy to see the boys having crossed that little barrier.
“When I first came (to India), we did some practising of the interviews with the players. That was fun,” she said.
“I find it easy to talk to them. Most of them understand well and speak English pretty well too.”
The plan over the next two weeks is pretty simple for Mr Reid.
“I will be there for all of India’s World Cup games.”