Hockey coach to be named next week

The Indian Hockey Federation has now made up its mind to appoint a countryman as the coach of its senior national team.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:51 IST
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Following a miserable experience with its first ever foreign recruit, the Indian Hockey Federation has now made up its mind to appoint a countryman as the coach of its senior national team. The IHF would make the announcement of the next incumbent by next week, according to a senior official of the federation. The Indian hockey team is without a coach since German Gerhard Rach resigned from the job in January. "IHF President K P S Gill is seized of the matter of nominating the coach for our senior team. He is likely to announce the name next week," IHF secretary K Jothikumaran said today. Eyeing medal With the Federation eyeing a medal in the Champions Trophy to be held at Chennai in December this year, the IHF has already zeroed in on the probable players for the event and would appoint a permanent coach sometime next week, he said. "The probables were announced at the end of the Hyderabad nationals and an Indian coach will be named sometime next week," Jothikumaran said. The IHF secretary, however, did not discount the possibility of seeking the assistance of a foreigner in the future but said they would most likely be engaged in the capacity of consultants. "The IHF at present is not thinking along those lines. Even if his services were engaged, it would only be as a consultant, giving more of technical advise," he added. International events The Indian team is so far scheduled to play in two international events -- Azlan Shah Cup at Kuala Lumpur from May 26-June 5 and a eight-nation event at Amstelveen in the Netherlands from August 14-21 -- ahead of the Champions Trophy. Jothikumaran said they were also hoping to conduct a four or six nation tournament in the country in the run-up to the mega event. India will be figuring in the Champions Trophy tournament for the fourth successive year and has missed the bronze medal by a whisker in the last two editions, losing to Pakistan on both occasions. Besides hosts India, Olympic Champions Australia, defending champions Spain, Germany, Holland, and Pakistan will compete for honours in the Champions trophy at Chennai. (PTI)