'I can be a catalyst to Indian hockey'

Newly-appointed Technical Advisor Ric Charlesworth has said his job is to act as a "catalyst" for the overall development of the game in the country.

updated: November 12, 2007 17:01 IST
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New Delhi:

Setting aside fears that he may interfere with the working of Indian men's hockey coach Joaquim Carvalho, newly-appointed Technical Advisor Ric Charlesworth said his job is to act as a "catalyst" for the overall development of the game in the country.

Australian legend Charlesworth, appointed under the FIH-backed project 'Promotion Indian Hockey,' underscored that his role in Indian hockey would be different and should not be confused with the short-term goals like the country's bid for Olympic qualification.

"It is an unique opportunity which will help me look from inside how Indian hockey works. My role is to oversee the development of a thorough long-term strategy for the improvement of Indian hockey. It will cover men, women, senior, junior everything.

"But there are short term things like the Olympic qualifiers and these should not be confused with the long term ones," Charlesworth said, adding "hopefully I can be a catalyst for a shift in Indian hockey," he told reporters.

The Aussie, however, said he would offer every help if coach Carvalho ask for it in achieving his objective of seeing India in the Beijing Olympics.

"I had a three hour long discussion with Carvalho during my visit to Bangalore. We discussed a range of things, including the Olympic qualifiers...I am happy to provide any assistance. If he wants to use my services, I am available," he said.

Charlesworth, a High Performance Manager with the New Zealand Cricket, believes it is more difficult to succeed in hockey than cricket and India have to work hard if they want to make significant strides in the game.

Making a presentation about his ideas on road to success, Charlesworth said India's failure to click in biggest tournaments was "multi-factored" and they have to work on various aspects of the game and the approach towards it.

Stressing on "looking behind results," the Aussie said the major reason why India's standard has not improved in recent times was the fact that they had "not played enough matches against tougher teams."

Charlesworth said a programme needed to be formulated in India in which more and more matches were played.

"We have to find and make opportunity for more matches so that more teams play in India. We have to build a programme so that 30-40 matches are played in a year," he said.

Sharing his experience of visiting the ongoing Olympic qualifiers camp in Bangalore, Charlesworth said there is no dearth in potential in India.

He said he had discussions with former India cricket coaches John Wright and Greg Chappell and would use the inputs from them to find right ways of working.

"It is an advantage to bring an outsider (like me) as he does not belong to any group and has an unbiased view on everything. Besides, I have the experience which will be relevant," he said.

Charlesworth said there should be a balance between the matches played and coaching camps in India.

"It is important to get the balance right. To play matches and hold camps. There is the need to build a programme that strikes the balance right," he said.