Hockey coach search will be over soon

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The Hockey India has gone through the applications for the post of head coach of the men’s hockey team and will prepare a shortlist in the next 10 days

India are likely to have a foreign coach following Harendra Singh's exit earlier this year (Hockey India Photo)

India are likely to have a foreign coach following Harendra Singh’s exit earlier this year (Hockey India Photo)

The hunt for a foreign coach to take charge of the men’s hockey team will be over by the end of March. Mail Today has learnt from sources that Hockey India has gone through the bio-datas of applicants and in the next 10 days it will prepare a shortlist.

The final decision on who gets the coach’s job will be held after consultations and discussions with the Sports Authority of India, who are officially the employers and pay salary.

Since the time India lost in the quarter-finals of the FIH World Cup in December in Bhubaneswar, there was a huge doubt over the continuance of Harendra Singh.

Once Hockey India held its review meeting in January and decided the performance of the team under Harendra was not good enough at the Asian Games in Jakarta and the World Cup, going back to a foreign coach became the obvious choice.

Hockey India had on its website advertised for the coach’s job and various applications have been received. It is learnt two of the three short-listed coaches are from Europe and Australia. Names are being kept as confidential as there is no point in upsetting the current employers of these coaches.

When the Indian team left for the Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia recently, with no coach in charge, it looked a bit strange. David John, the high performance director is virtually in command, though his hockey acumen is questionable.

However, this time around, Hockey India has not been in a rush to find a foreign coach as they need someone who can be of huge help to the team. At stake are the Olympic qualifiers later this year and hopefully preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Word has it that good coaches are willing to come and work in India as the salaries paid are quite handsome.

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