Search begins for India’s next hockey coaches

first_imgHarendra (left) and Dhanraj are in the fray for the men’s team.The process of selecting the next coaching staff for both the men’s and women’s hockey teams has gathered steam with the Indian candidates for the positions being called up to submit their plans and presentations in the Capital over the weekend.Over the next two days, Hockey India’s development committee, headed by former national captain Pargat Singh, will hear what plans the various candidates have to take the game forward.Qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics is the biggest aim at the moment but the men’s and women’s teams are without coaches since the Guangzhou Asian Games, after which the tenures of Spaniard Jose Brasa and Sandeep Somesh expired.As many as 25 to 30 Indians and three or four foreigners have applied for the coaching positions. The committee will convey its choice to Hockey India, who in turn will forward the same to the Sports Authority of India for a final decision.”We are looking for people who can take Indian hockey forward with an eye towards qualifying for the Olympics,” Pargat told Mail Today on Friday.”Reaching a final decision may take another 15-20 days.” Among those who have thrown their hat in the ring for coaching the senior men’s team are former national coach Harendra Singh, his erstwhile colleagues Clarence Lobo and Romeo James and former India captain Dhanraj Pillay.Among those in the running for the women’s team job are erstwhile coach Sandeep Somesh, CR Kumar and Pritam Siwach. The foreign aspirants will be called on a subsequent date.advertisement”We will interact with each candidate for about 30 minutes.They have been asked to come prepared with a formal presentation,” Pargat said. “They will be asked what qualities they will bring to the side and how they will improve its performance. Once we have a basic assessment of the Indian candidates, we can call the foreign candidates and see what they have to offer.”The ace defender of yesteryear – who has former internationals such as Mervyn Fernandes, Thoiba Singh and Rajbir Kaur in his panel – said there will be a whole coaching team selected but whether the man at the helm will be an Indian or foreigner is yet to be decided.”We don’t have a formal coaching mechanism. Those we select will have to constantly upgrade their knowledge. We will have a full team in place with specialists for goalkeeping, defence and attack as well as a physical trainer,” Pargat said.last_img