Sports ministry open to hiring overseas hockey coach

Thursday, December 23, 2010

NEW DELHI - The sports ministry is open to hiring a coach from overseas for the men’s hockey team despite its bitter experience in the past.

Hockey India (HI) has once again approached the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to short-list the candidates from overseas, but the ministry is opposed to a foreign coach if he is not of stature.

“The past experience with foreign coaches may not have been all that happy, but that cannot be the only reason for rejecting outright the appointment of another. I agree Ric Charlesworth left abruptly, but Jose Brasa completed his contracted tenure. We are still open to hire a foreign coach, but we can’t have one for the sake of it,” Injeti Srinivas, joint secretary in the sports ministry, told IANS here Thursday.

Srinivas said the ministry and HI have a pragmatic approach to appointing the national coach.

“We have to get the best man for the job, irrespective of the nationality. If we can’t get a suitable foreign coach, we can think of hiring experts in goalkeeping and penalty-corners but the they have to be really good,” he said.

The ministry is coordinating with the HI’s development committee headed by former captain Pargat Singh in making the right choice. They are also looking for a sports psychologist for the team.

A member of the Development Committee told IANS that they, too, are not keen on a foreign coach unless the candidate is from the top drawer, though they feel the appointment of a psychologist is a must.

“After the semi-final loss at the Guangzhou Asian Games, the team management felt that a sports psychologist is a must for the team. Before the team left for China, we had to take the advice of Army officers on handling pressure. But with the Olympics barely 18 months away, the hunt for a psychologist is a priority,” he said, not wishing to be named.

Filed under: Hockey, Olympic Games

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