Sardar backs call for foreign coach

Indian captain Sardar Singh agrees with Australian Ric Charlesworth that the eight-time Olympic champions need a top foreign coach to meet the demands of modern hockey.

Hockey India (HI) has started its search for a foreign coach to replace Michael Nobbs, who was sacked last week for non-performance.

Charlesworth, who had a brief coaching stint with the Indian team in 2008, had said the country’s coaches were not good enough to meet the demands of modern hockey.
India’s high performance director and Dutch legend Roelant Oltmans is currently in charge of the team while Olympic gold medallist Maharaj Kishan Kaushik has been named the national coach.

Sardar welcomed the appointment of Kaushik but said the need of the hour is a reputed foreign coach.

“Kaushik is one of the best Indian coaches we have and along with Oltmans, the team should go in the right direction. In the long run, I feel we need someone like Oltmans to take the team forward,” Sardar told IANS ahead of the training camp beginning July 16 for the Asia Cup next month.

Asked about his experience with Nobbs, Sardar said the team learnt a lot under Nobbs even though the results were not up to the mark.

“He was a good coach. You could really be open with him. He treated everyone the same and was strict with both younger and senior players. One could talk to him as a coach, as a friend. I had spoken to him some time ago and he told me he was making up his mind on returning to India after a break,” said the 26-year-old. 

Under Nobbs, the team lost all its matches during the 2012 London Olympics and finished a disappointing last among the 12 competing teams. Last month, India were sixth out of eight teams in the FIH World League Round 3 tournament in Rotterdam.

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