Sean Simpson has been named as the new head coach of Hungary's men's national team ©Getty Images

Experienced coach Sean Simpson is set to take the reins of the Hungarian men's ice hockey team after penning a two-year contract.

The former Switzerland head coach is due to arrive in Hungary at the end of September before leading the team for the first time in November when an international tournament is scheduled to take place in Budapest.

Simpson, 60, admitted he had "never been" to Hungary before but was looking forward to taking the hot seat.

Hungary advanced to the final Olympic qualification tournament that will be staged in August 2021. 

In Group E in Riga, they will play for a spot at Beijing 2022 with hosts Latvia, France and Italy.

"It's an honour to be the head coach of the Hungarian national team, I am excited to start the work," Simpson said.

"I have never been to Hungary before. 

"I'm really looking forward to seeing Budapest.

"So far, I've heard a lot of good things about the country and the people, and that's true for hockey players as well.

"Those who have worked here before have all praised the players, the staff of the clubs, the leaders.

"The Hungarian team is good. 

"I like the way it plays, I feel it has a beautiful future ahead."

Simpson, who was born in Great Britain but grew up in Canada, played at American Hockey League level in North America before moving to Europe.

He spent most of his career there as a player and coach in Switzerland, Germany and part of a season with the Kontinental Hockey League's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in Russia.

Denmark celebrate during a match against Hungary at the 2009 World Championship ©Getty Images
Denmark celebrate during a match against Hungary at the 2009 World Championship ©Getty Images

After leading EV Zug to its only championship in 1998, Simpson won Germany's Deutsche Eishockey Liga with the Munich Barons two years later.

In 2009, he guided ZSC Lions Zurich to Champions Hockey League glory before defeating National Hockey League outfit Chicago Blackhawks to win the Victoria Cup.

Simpson also coached the Switzerland national team, leading them to their first World Championship medal in 60 years, winning silver in 2013.

He most recently worked as a coaching advisor at Swiss club Fribourg-Gotteron.

Marton Vas, general manager for the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation, said: "He had success both at club and national team level, which decided in his favour.

"He's a sympathetic, highly knowledgeable, well-trained professional, from whom we expect to rebuild a fighting, motivated Hungarian team."

Hungary qualified for the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in 2009 and 2016 but has not managed to return in three attempts.

Simpson is set to lead the team at the 2021 World Championship Division I Group A in May next year, when they face Slovenia, France, Austria, South Korea and Romania.

"Hungarian hockey also wants to develop the way Switzerland did a few years ago when I took over a national team ready for the next step," added Simpson.

"I managed to lead the Swiss from around the eighth place to a World Championship medal, and I rely on this experience in my current work as well."